Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell has provided a promising update as he says the signs are that Saturday’s test event vs Celtic was a success.
County were granted permission to allow 300 of their own supporters into Dingwall to watch the clash against Neil Lennon’s Hoops. Celtic won the game in a 5-0 mauling of Kettlewell’s side, but in the bigger picture, the return of fans was the main focus.
Aberdeen vs Kilmarnock was the only other match in Scotland over the weekend that was granted the same wish. It was the first time fans had been back in Scottish stadia since March.
Therefore, it’s imperative that they go through without hitches. And Kettlewell believes that’s exactly what happened on Saturday as he provided a promising update on the results.
As quoted by the Press and Journal, the County boss said: “It was a big difference having fans back in the ground, albeit only 300. It resembled more of a football match and the early indications are we did it really well and the fans conducted themselves right.
“The football club put everything in place and it shows signs that we can take it forward at the beginning of October and maybe get a few more people through the door.”
Test events continue to reap promising results
First off, there’s obviously nothing Scottish clubs can do about the general date for football fans’ return being pushed back. It was initially hoped that more supporters would be allowed into stadiums this weekend if last week’s tests were successful.
However, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pushing the date back to October 5th when it comes to more test events in football (The Herald), clubs will have to twiddle their thumbs for now.
But in terms of the test events around the country so far, there have been no concerning hitches. Indeed, National Clinical Director Jason Leitch felt that the very first event with fans, Edinburgh Rugby vs Glasgow Warriors last month, “felt completely safe” (Edinburgh Evening News).
It’s imperative that sports around Scotland continue to make these tests successful. Even one negative experience and the government’s pessimism will shine through and Sturgeon’s hammer will likely come down.
The last thing we need as the sport is to be shooting itself in the foot. And that’s why Kettlewell’s update is so promising. County seem to have managed things appropriately, and look like they have effectively passed their test.
Hopefully the government were also impressed, and we can start to see fans integrated again without any more postponements.