Caley Jags head coach Billy Dodds fears football clubs could be fighting for their lives as a result of the 500-limit on attendances in Scotland.
The Inverness side’s Boxing Day clash with Partick Thistle was postponed after Covid and injuries combined to leave them with just eight players by the end of last week, including two goalkeepers.
The SPFL rubber-stamped their request and that fixture will be slotted in at a later date, while Wednesday’s trip to Dunfermline Athletic is looking likely to go ahead.
‘We want the fans. Fans want to be there’
Speaking prior to the weekend postponement, Dodds explained the Scottish Government’s three-week cap on attendances at 500 was a festive headache for club, with Dunfermline already stating it’s not worth them opening turnstiles for so few supporters.
Dodds said: “It’s a killer to clubs, team on the pitch when you get a good atmosphere, you can’t beat it.
“When the fans came back in at the start of the season, every manager said the same answer, absolutely delighted, buzzing – all the key words used – because it is genuine.
We want the fans. The fans want to be there and it is a killer blow in terms of players going out. Five hundred is going to be different. When we were out with no crowds, the atmosphere was dead.
“With 300-500, you get a bit of atmosphere, but you can’t beat your usual capacity crowds.
“It’s gone now, hopefully for a short space of time rather than a longer space of time, because it is going to kill clubs. It is getting too much.”
Football clubs fighting to stay alive
Opening the doors to such a small number can cost clubs money and Dodds is concerned about the knock-on effect of the cap.
He said: “You can lose money hosting three to five hundred fans. That’s what politicians sometimes don’t understand.
“They come out with their statements and it’s not just football clubs, but hospitality businesses – they are fighting to stay alive.
“I’m afraid if it continues that will happen to football clubs. Somebody will fall by the wayside.”
Transfer talks stalled by restrictions
Dodds, meanwhile, confirmed he will be looking to recruit once the January window opens, but the restrictions on clubs has muddied the waters.
He added: “Since those restrictions were put in place, I haven’t made a call to say: ‘is this or that still happening?’
“We’re actively looking for at least one signing – that would be nice – but we have to realise that stances can change from clubs.
“We’re still looking to see what we can add. It is going to be difficult, but we’ll see what’s out there and what we can do.”