Derek McInnes says having no fans will be "dire" for Aberdeen; Celtic plans were swiftly rejected

By David Walton

October 20, 2020

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has admitted that having no fans at games will result in “dire” consequences for his club.

The Dons have been at the forefront of trying to get supporters back into stadiums over the last few months. Chairman Dave Cormack even saw a proposal to get 1,000 fans into stadiums rejected by the Scottish Government in recent days. That was for the upcoming game against Celtic at Pittodrie on Sunday.

Cormack would explain on his Twitter account that no fans from the last test event Aberdeen held have tested positive. He also expressed his frustration and stated that he was “eagerly” awaiting a solid plan to get fans back from the government.

Pittodrie Stadium / (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

And McInnes has backed up his chairman’s efforts after seeing their plan for the Celtic fixture booted out.

As quoted by the Press and Journal, McInnes said: “The consequences if we don’t get supporters in, for our club, are dire. I think it’s important we have that leadership to reiterate that message that we need supporters back.

“We have a plan in place and we have done for some time now, for 1,000 supporters. It was September 12 for the test event and we’re well on into October now. We’re just looking for a wee bit of a plan and information for when that next can be.

“We’re also mindful of the situation across the country and it’s understandable, maybe, that the plan has been rejected for this weekend. The chairman is quite within his rights to be on the front foot and find out what is the plan, what encouragement can we get for supporters and as a club, can we start to budget and plan financially for what we can do. There’s so much uncertainty at the minute and football is a part of that.”

Football is being held back unnecessarily

It’s starting to feel as though the Scottish Government takes pride in its disdain for football. Almost as if it’s a move they’re taking to try and impress those who aren’t as keen on the game as the rest of us.

That’s the most logical reason I can think of some of the utterly bemusing decisions taken by the authorities over the last few months. Football appears to be a total inconvenience. It’s as if Nicola Sturgeon and Jason Leitch are doing us some sort of favour just by listening to clubs’ plans.

Credit to Aberdeen for their stance on this – they haven’t once given up the fight and have been consistently holding government to account over fan returns.

Celtic Park has been empty so far this season / (Photo by Andrew Milligan/Pool via Getty Images)

Why is it that you can go into a crowded shopping centre on a daily basis but you can’t sit two metres apart from another football fan? Why can you hop on a packed flight and increase the opportunity of getting the virus, but not be able to do the same outdoors in a football stadium?

There’s no need to continuously hold this off. Holding test events have already proven to be a success, with no positive tests recorded from the Dons’ first one against Kilmarnock back in September. There’s been no encouragement since then.

Clubs need to keep pressing here. Aberdeen very easily could’ve had 1,000 supporters at Pittodrie for Sunday’s game whilst operating in a safe manner. The more pressure that’s applied, the more chance we have of more reasonable decisions from government.

In other news, Milan have released a statement as they receive another boost before the Celtic game.