Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell says the Staggies have a robust structure in place to cope with the challenging winter months that lie ahead.
Scottish football is facing an uncertain period following the UK and Scottish governments’ tightening of Covid-19 measures this week, with the indicative date for the return of supporters to stadiums being pushed further back from October 5.
The suggestion the return of crowds could be put on hold for several months has sparked fears about the sustainability of clubs to pay wages and testing costs without gate income.
Kettlewell insists County chairman Roy MacGregor has implemented a rigid plan to cope with the challenging climate, insisting the Dingwall club had never budgeted for crowds to return this season.
Kettlewell said: “We were proactive back in March and April when we saw where things going and we made plans A, B and C.
“Plan A was that there was not going to be any supporters in the stadium. That was how we budgeted and anything else that came on top was going to be a bonus for us.
“I know that is a very pessimistic view but at the time we felt it was a realist view.
“As the months went on there were signs of improvement but at the back of our mind we had to be aware of the situation and how it could change in a matter of days or weeks, as it has done.
“We are not comfortable with the virus but in terms of us functioning as a football club we feel we are comfortable knowing there aren’t any supporters coming in in the near future. We are braced for that.”
MacGregor has shown his support for County’s fellow north clubs by offering the Victoria Park testing facilities to Caley Thistle, Elgin City and Brora Rangers ahead of next month’s Betfred Cup ties.
Kettlewell has called for unity in order to protect clubs at all levels of the Scottish game.
He added: “We went through an extremely difficult period and had to show an incredible amount of resilience.
“I see this being another hurdle, and I think we all have to be pretty smart and intelligent and make sure we stick together, firstly as a club but also as a body of football.
“What it does is galvanise us all. If we were getting carried away and thinking this was going to just go back to normality within weeks, it puts us all on check.
“I sincerely hope we can all stand together to get through this winter period.
“If we can knuckle down for this next couple of months and come out the other end of it, I would love to see Scottish football flourish at the end of it.”