Fans BACK at Scottish football: Spectators allowed to attend Livingston's SPFL Premiership game at Ross County this weekend
Scottish football fans will return this weekend – Ross County have been permitted a small crowd for their match with Livingston on Friday night, the Scottish Government has agreed.
As Dingwall falls within Highland Council area currently in the tier one restriction level of the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Strategic Framework, a restricted number fans will be admitted to professional games.
That means around 300 spectators have been given the green light to attend the Global Energy Stadium – which usually holds capacity for 6,500 – and Friday night’s Staggies’ match with Livingston, the Scottish football joint response group has said.
Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor welcomed the news: “At a difficult time for everyone involved in the game, we are delighted that the SPFL, the Scottish FA and the Scottish Government have worked together to allow the return of fans.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to welcome a small number of our supporters back to the Global Energy Stadium this Friday.”
County were involved in one of two pilot events earlier this season when a limited number of spectators were admitted to a match with Celtic. The Staggies lost 5-0.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Elgin City are also within tier one restricted areas and the group will liaise with the Championship and League Two clubs, as well as Highland League teams, over their operational plans and options for admittance with a view to more crowds returning in the near future.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster commented: “I’m sure this news will be cheered by every player, official and fan in our game. All clubs in Scotland are desperate to get fans back safely in the open air and we are very grateful to the Scottish Government for approving this crucial first step towards the return of supporters to every ground.
“All of us in the SPFL have missed the enormous difference which our passionate supporters bring to the game, not to mention the absolutely crucial matchday revenue, and everyone involved will be working flat-out to ensure that the return of fans to the Global Energy Stadium goes smoothly this Friday.”
Under Covid-19 restrictions clubs have been unable to admit spectators this season and all SPFL matches have been played behind closed doors, apart from two test events in Dingwall and Aberdeen in September.
RCFC Chief Executive Steven Ferguson added: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to host 300 fans this Friday. I think it is only reward for the hard work and commitment from our team that really successfully organised our test event v Celtic in September.
"There is no doubting that the timescale provides a challenge but sometimes you have to relish that and it can make the process stronger. We thank the Scottish Government, SPFL and SFA for their support and trust in us and their belief that we can continue to deliver a safe environment for our supporters here in Dingwall, which is a tier one area. It is essential that all fans follow the information on our website and that will be emailed out to the 300 who will be given the opportunity to attend.”