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Scottish Football Deserves Scientific Data To Prove Restrictions Are Necessary

Date: 27th December 2021

The Scottish Government have issued new restrictions that have seen a cap of 500 fans being allowed into our football stadiums during this current surge in Covid cases. 

The news has been met with action from the SPFL who have decided to bring forward it’s winter shutdown, in the hope that the restrictions will be removed by the time the top flight kicks off again. 

For those in the lower leagues, they’ll just have to carry on. It may not impact certain clubs but it will have a negative impact on a host of others. 

Now I’ve always stated that Scottish football has had to follow restrictions placed upon them as it will hopefully help the wider community and the NHS.

But looking at the latest scenario, I do believe that our national game needs more clarity and better communication from those that impose the restrictions.

We know that being outside means that the spread of the virus isn’t as prominent inside grounds. Masks should be worn in the concourse areas and when people move around.

I feel we should look at restricting numbers but I am not sure why it’s a magic 500 number for every ground. Surely stadia with 20k, 50k and 60k capacities can cope with more than just 500 fans coming in through their gates?  

We can still have red areas, socially distant seating and even ban away fans from travelling and get more than 500 into certain grounds. It should be a ground by ground basis.

Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leith has already stated:

“It’s very difficult to choose a number, you can either choose zero, 10,000 or somewhere in between.

“It’s a judgement, it’s of course based on trying to keep the risk as low as you possibly can but the alternative is just to close them down completely.

The decision on numbers should surely be used by looking at more numbers. The infection rates in areas, the hospitalisation rates in areas and the size of the stadium. 

If you are impacting the trade of a certain sector, no matter the sector, then you should have instant answers to the various queries that the stakeholders have for that sector. 

I would also like to question what further financial help that the Scottish government are willing to offer to compensate those teams losing money during this uncertain time?

Again I have no issues with backing restrictions but this isn’t our first or even our second wave of this virus. Those in charge need to communicate better with football fans and give us a detailed explanation on why these specific restrictions have come into place. 

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