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Jim Goodwin challenges St Mirren fans to force an end to Old Firm ticket policy

Soccer – Scottish Communities League Cup – Semi Final – St Mirren v Celtic – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Lynne Cameron)

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin hopes more of the Paisley public get behind his team and ensure Sunday is one of the final occasions Rangers fans occupy two stands at their ground.

The ongoing policy of giving Rangers and Celtic supporters both areas behind the goal at the SMISA Stadium has been the subject of meetings between St Mirren and their fans, especially those who have to vacate their usual seats.

Goodwin has backed the club’s decision but hopes there are more Buddies fans to fill the home areas in future.

With the club on a three-match winning run and six games unbeaten, Goodwin is hopeful they can entice more in.

The Irishman said: “There will be a hell of a lot of Rangers fans here at the weekend, no doubt, because we have given them two large parts of the stadium. Rightly or wrongly, there is a lot of talk about it.

“But there is the financial side of things. I would much rather give Rangers no tickets at all and know we will fill it out with 8,000 St Mirren fans, but unfortunately we are not in that position at the moment.

“I don’t think any club can afford to knock back the kind of money you are capable of bringing in when either Celtic or Rangers come to town. And I know it does upset some of our own supporters but that’s just the way it is.

“We have come through a pandemic, we need as much money as we can possibly get, and giving up those two stands to Rangers on Sunday will generate a hell of a lot of income for the club.

“If the people of Paisley want to buy more season tickets and come and get behind the team more, we can give the opposing fans less tickets. Until that happens we have got to make sensible business decisions.

“Hopefully the Rangers fans won’t be too noisy. Our fans have been excellent, I have to say, they have been different class all season, right behind the team.

“We have got a real noisy section of our own and I hope we are hearing more of them singing on Sunday than the fans behind either goal.”

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