St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin claims the SPFL bent their own rules to let the Celtic game go-ahead – meaning that they presumably have done the same for the Rangers clash.
The Buddies were forced to recall a number of youth players from the lower leagues in order for the match to go ahead amid a spate of eleven first-team Covid-19 call-offs.
But despite fielding the likes of 16-year-old Dylan Reid, 17-year-old Kieran Offord and 19-year-old Jay Henderson in midfield, the Buddies earned a point against the visiting Parkhead club.
The 0-0 draw has Rangers now six points clear in the Scottish Premiership with plenty viewing the result as karma following Celtic’s push to have the winter break moved forward.
Speaking ahead of the Celtic game, Goodwin claimed the SPFL allowed St Mirren to recall Lowland League players to help bulk out their squad.
“It’s been extremely difficult as you’d imagine. We’ve been here before,” said Goodwin [Daily Record].
“I’m not surprised as we were forced to play games last year that we didn’t really want to.
“It was Groundhog Day all over – very similar to what happened last year.
“We had major dialogue back and forth with the authorities and we were explaining the situation.
“Nobody at St Mirren wants to cancel games willy nilly, but these are extreme circumstances.
“If we only have three or four positives, it’s a different situation – but we had 11 positives and were still waiting for two results before the game.
“Thankfully we were able to free up a few of our players who were deemed close contacts on Tuesday.
“On Wednesday afternoon we genuinely felt we were going to have to play six or seven under-17 players.
“We asked for the game to be postponed but unfortunately the powers that be wanted the game to go ahead.
SPFL “bent loan rules” to allow Celtic and Rangers matches v St Mirren to go ahead
“So much so that they have bent loan rules to allow us to bring six under-18 players to bulk the squad.
“They amended the loans to allow us to bring back players from Lowland League clubs.
“They went to great lengths to get the game on. They explored every avenue, even down to those loan rules.
“The SFA and SPFL got together on the Lowland loans, but we weren’t allowed to bring league ones back.”
After earning a valiant point against Celtic, St Mirren will now travel to Ibrox to face Rangers on Boxing Day in what will be a tough match for the Covid-19 ravaged side.
Buoyed by the fact Rangers are now six points clear, the Gers know they can maintain this gap if they go out and defeat the Buddies at the weekend.
With the main news surrounding Rangers’ rescheduled Old Firm clash with Celtic, the date of the fixture may raise hopes of increased capacity crowds.