It was quite apt to see the classic children’s film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory repeated on television on Saturday afternoon.
The supporters lucky enough to be permitted inside Pittodrie and Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon must have felt exactly like Charlie when he found the last golden ticket.
Even the 300 Ross County fans who were present to watch their team beaten 5-0 by Celtic will have experienced being at a game they will never forget as spectators returned to Scottish football for the first time since March.
Saturday’s two test events appeared to be a resounding success and the feedback from those who attended sounded encouraging.
This was despite the fact that those who were in the grounds were told they would be unable to sing, shout or stand during the game.
They also had to don facemasks throughout and perhaps worst of all, were denied a half-time pie to truly mark the occasion.
But seeing football fans back at matches in Scotland was a welcome sight and it felt like a major step in the right direction.
Unfortunately these test events took place with the backdrop of rising numbers of coronavirus cases across the country and only a couple of days after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pushed the indicative date for reopening football stadia back by at least three weeks.
Fans won’t be allowed back into grounds until October 5 at the earliest but, with daily coronavirus cases hitting a four-month high on Saturday and more than 1,750,000 people in the west of Scotland living under increased restrictions, there is every chance it will be delayed again.
That is a worrying predicament for the SPFL teams outside the top flight who hope to get their campaigns under way next month.
The Championship, League One and League Two as well as the Highland League all hope to get the green light to kick-off on October 17. All four divisions have opted for truncated campaigns in what will be a season like no other.
But the prospect of playing without fans would make returning to matches a non-starter for some of these SPFL clubs. It is also almost impossible to imagine the Highland League starting the 2020-21 campaign with games being played behind closed doors.
The events at St Mirren last week will only add to the concern. The Buddies went into Saturday’s meeting with Hibernian without three first-team goalkeepers after two tested positive and the other had to self-isolate as a precaution.
They were faced with putting 40-year-old goalkeeping coach Jamie Langfield or an outfield player in goals before they secured an emergency loan deal for Hearts stopper Zdenek Zlamal.
St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin said he was “flabbergasted” that his club’s request to have the game with Hibernian postponed was rejected by the SPFL. Let’s hope situations like this one do not become a common occurrence.