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St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin says fans could return to football safely

Rangers v St Mirren – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Craig Foy)

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin believes Scottish football has shown it can meet safety protocols as he called for a plan for the return of fans to be drawn up for the future.

The Scottish Government confirmed this week that a provisional date of October 5 for the return of spectators would be unlikely to be ratified amid increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections.

The UK Government earlier suggested it could be six months before supporters return to English sports events but Goodwin feels there is evidence to support Scottish football’s safety record.

“Like every club, we were hoping we could get supporters back in for the Betfred Cup,” he said. “That doesn’t look like it will happen now.

“It’s obviously extremely disappointing but hopefully the SFA, SPFL and the government will be able to come up with a plan that will allow us to do something safely in the future.

“We have got to be sensible about it. Obviously the transmissions are continuing to rise and that’s got to be the priority for everyone just now. The most important thing for everybody is the health and safety of all of our families and friends.

“But I do believe football clubs are capable of doing things properly.

“We have shown that, within the training grounds, we are capable of following protocols and doing things safely. I think we would be able to do it at the stadium as well.

“We obviously just need to get clear guidance on that and get some support from the government, and hopefully we will be able to do it.

“An outdoor arena where there are thousands of seats and plenty of space to socially-distance, I do believe we as a football community would be capable of putting things in place and carrying it out safely.”

The Scottish football authorities warned of “catastrophic” consequences if fans were denied entry for the majority of the season but Goodwin is still keeping an eye out for potential new signings.

“We are all continuing to see what’s out there but aware that there isn’t an endless pot of money either,” he said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Kilmarnock.

“I was given a playing budget about two-and-a-half months ago now. We had budgeted for different circumstances so I’m pretty sure the club have got things in place that will allow us to get through this.

“Although we are not sitting with multi-millions in the bank, we don’t have the biggest playing budget in the world, we don’t have the biggest squad in the world, I do believe financially we are in a position where we can ride this out. But at the same time I think it’s going to be extremely tight.”

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