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Ross County granted permission to host full capacity crowds at Victoria Park

Steven Ferguson.
Steven Ferguson.

Ross County have been granted permission to stage full capacity crowds at Victoria Park this season.

Last week’s Scottish government announcement allows stadia to stage events in front of 5,000 people without permission, just short of the Dingwall club’s 6,600 capacity.

Having welcomed just under 2,000 to the stadium for their opening Premiership match against St Johnstone last month, County have now received clearance to host full crowds following talks with Highland Council and the safety advisory group.

The Staggies’ next home match is against champions Rangers on August 21.

Ross County’s Victoria Park Stadium in Dingwall.

County chief executive Steven Ferguson says the announcement will allow the club to allocate designated seating to season ticket holders, which he hopes can attract a fresh wave of sales.

Ferguson said: “It’s fantastic – and it gives us an opportunity to get everybody to get back in their seat.

“We encourage everybody to buy their season ticket because people like to be in their own seat.

“When we’ve been mapping fans out in the ground, we’ve not been able to do that.

“That announcement allows all our season ticket holders to sit in the seat they have purchased. I think that means a lot to supporters and it definitely means a lot to us.

“I know the fans have been patient, we know there have been frustrations and we have been equally as frustrated as they have.

“This will open up hospitality again. We had just under 2,000 against St Johnstone and what a difference it made to the dynamics of the game.

Supporters in Dingwall ahead of Ross County’s match against St Johnstone on July 31.

“If we can double that, or nearly triple that, it’s back to being a proper spectacle for football.”

A number of County’s top-flight rivals with bigger grounds, such as Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen, have already been granted permission by their local councils to host full crowds.

The Staggies were one of few clubs who were able to stage some matches with a limited number of supporters during last term, which was predominantly played behind closed doors across the country.

Ferguson feels County have showcased their ability to host spectators safely, adding: “We had five games with 300 people last season, and a game with 2,000 people.

“We feel we have shown our local authority that we have a safe environment for people to come and watch football.

“We have the right procedures in place to allow us to get to full capacity, like other clubs in other regions are getting as well.”

Ferguson says the chance to bring supporters back to Dingwall will come as a welcome financial boost for the Staggies, and he added: “Clubs have been financially battered during this period, as people have been.

“The chance to get back to a full stadium with hospitality is an opportunity we need.

“It’s not just something we want, we actually need it. That announcement couldn’t come quick enough.”

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