Caley Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner is disappointed the Highlanders will not be able to accommodate more than 300 supporters at home games later this month.
After gaining Scottish government approval to welcome supporters back to Caledonian Stadium due to being in tier one restrictions, Inverness are planning to host their first crowd of the season at their Championship fixture against Raith Rovers on November 21.
Although Gardiner is pleased to have approval for some fans to return, he feels the figure has left them behind other entertainment industries which host indoor events.
Gardiner said: “We were hoping we could get more than 300, to be honest.
“I won’t tell a fib and say we are not a little disappointed.
“We’re happy to get crowds in, but the clubs who have already done test events have proven it can be done.
“I think all of us were expecting it might be slightly more and that’s what we were working towards.
“If you see what’s happening in cinemas and other parts of the entertainment world, which after all we are, they are having 25-27% of their capacity – and that’s indoors.
“I know there are issues brought up about people travelling on public transport, but I don’t think that applies for us, County or Elgin although I won’t speak for either of those clubs.
“There is no public transport comes to the Caledonian Stadium and no away supporters.
“At the moment, we’ve got to be grateful for small mercies. It is March 10 since we last had fans through the gates.
“But other industries are being allowed to have great numbers and that’s indoors. We’re outdoors.”
Gardiner says the restriction on capacity will only allow season ticket holders from local Highland and Moray postcodes to attend matches, adding: “Hopefully we will deliver an excellent event. I’ve been speaking to other clubs who have done test events and taking on information from them. It has all been very helpful.
“The previous test events didn’t have different tiers of lockdown. We’re going to have to introduce the postcode into our ballot – a postcode lottery to use an old phrase.
“We will be explaining to our supporters that, effectively, it is going to have to be from tier one postcodes. It is going to be supporters very local to us.
“Our only decision is whether we have fans behind one goal or both.”
Caley Jags manager John Robertson feels the joint response group’s announcement marks a step in the right direction for the club.
He added: “It’s a very small first step. We saw the pilot games at Aberdeen and Ross County which went well, and obviously we hoped that fans would return here at the Caledonian Stadium too.
“I’ve said before that it will be disappointing for other teams in tiers two and three, they will be frustrated that they can’t get fans in at the moment, but for us it’s a massive step forward.
“There will only be 300, but it’s a really positive sign for us that things are slowly returning to normal for us up in the Highlands.
“We’ve all got to take care though. We’re not getting blase in the Highlands, and saying that we’re allowed some fans back so therefore we’re immune. We can’t allow that to slip.
“If things can continue to improve off the field not just here but all over the country, then perhaps it’s a sign that things are slowly coming back to the new normal in Scotland.”