A leading Scottish Premiership chief executive has called for government bail-out as the national game is placed under threat by a supporter shut-out.
Speaking to the Daily Record, the unnamed chief claims teams from across the country are eight weeks away from a catastrophic collapse which could leave the game in tatters.
This directly affects Rangers who obviously compete in the Scottish Premiership with the Record report clear this could affect clubs in all four divisions.
The news comes after both Westminster and Holyrood spoke out about sporting events and set tighter restrictions on the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to knock back the date for the phased return of fans has been simultaneously met with the decision to knock back test pilots three weeks.
“It’s important I indicate today that the route map changes with an indicative date of October 5 are unlikely now to go ahead on that timescale,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon [BBC Scotland].
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also addressed the UK-wide situation with restrictions down south set to be in place for up to six months.
“We have to acknowledge the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen large sporting events,” said Johnson [BBC Sports].
Attendance at Scottish football matches is a devolved power so will be completely under the remit of the Scottish Parliament with the Record report claiming clubs are currently left out of discussions involving the shut-out.
The anonymous Scottish Premiership chief executive told the Record:
“This has been a very bleak day for the professional game in this country and the consequences will be catastrophic unless there is urgent government intervention.
“Six months without fans? Let’s be blunt, we don’t have six months. Clubs are going to go bust – a lot of them – and probably some of the biggest clubs we have. The next two months are going to be critical.
“First, academies will have to be stopped, player development will have to be stopped and all community coaching programmes will have to be stopped.
“Then, after all of those cuts have been made, clubs will take it in turns to go to the wall.
“That’s the scenario our game is now facing. If there are no fans then there will need to be a government subsidy of some sort to replace lost revenues.
“If not then Scottish football as we know it will simply not survive.”
According to this Premiership chief, the landscape looks increasingly bleak for Scottish football if they have to go six months without any gate receipts.
But is a bail-out a realistic expectation for clubs amid the Covid-19 shut-out or will many be forced to downsize?