Ross County will host a crowd of 300 fans at tomorrow night’s Premiership game against Livingston after being given the green light from the Scottish government last night.
County had applied to host a crowd of up to 750 after the Highland region was placed under tier one restrictions by the Scottish government earlier this week.
Following talks between Scottish football’s joint response group and the government, the Staggies had feared time was running out in their hopes of staging a crowd as they awaited an update.
They have now been granted permission to host a crowd of 300, which is the same figure as their previous test event for a home match against Celtic in September.
County will now face a late push to co-ordinate arrangements for supporters to attend tomorrow’s match, while the JRG has also confirmed talks will continue with Championship side Caley Thistle, League Two outfit Elgin City and Highland League clubs who are also in areas covered by tier one restrictions.
Staggies manager Stuart Kettlewell has praised chairman Roy MacGregor for his role in pushing for the safe return of supporters to stadiums.
Kettlewell said: “A lot of clubs are lined up in what they want to do, but ultimately the final decision falls with the government.
“Nothing is going to happen without that. There is potentially an element of lobbying towards the government to see if this is something we can press on and carry forward.
“We understand the amount of sectors they are dealing with. We all talk about football which is our passion and bread and butter, but they have a number of different things to work out at this minute in time.
“One thing that will be important is getting the right people in front of the government to lobby for football. We are all watching the politics in America just now, and seeing how much that influence can be, and I think it’s the same with everything else in life.
“If we can get the right people saying the right things to the decision-makers that gives us the best chance.
“With guys like Roy at the helm at this club, and a number of other leaders at top-flight clubs in Scotland, I think there are some good voices and minds in our game.
“Hopefully they can have an impact in the weeks to come.”
Kettlewell is hopeful the low infection rate in the Highlands will allow the Staggies the opportunity to build on their previous test event against the Hoops.
He added: “We seemed to pass that test with flying colours and we would love for that to continue on a weekly basis but the government and the powers-to-be are taking things into consideration that are happening across the country and not simply the Highlands.
“As time goes on I don’t know if things will be zoned into specific areas and if it is then we are in a reasonable position, as the numbers sit just now, to be one of the first clubs to get supporters back into the ground again.
“It would be a boost for us and football in general. I think the Highlands have proved it is as safe a place as any in this current climate.
“From that basis, I would love to see supporters in and if we got a wee advantage from that low infection rate then I would certainly welcome it.”
Tomorrow’s visit of Livi to Victoria Park is County’s last league game for a fortnight, however Kettlewell is hopeful the next two Betfred Cup fixtures away to Elgin City and at home to Stirling Albion can also provide opportunities to host fans.
He added: “Those two seem like reasonable opportunities to get supporters in, with one being against another team from the north, while the other one will be a game in which we could probably control the situation fairly well.”