Aberdeen test event proposal for 1,000 fans at Celtic match is rejected

300 Aberdeen supporters attended a Premiership match at Pittodrie in September
300 Aberdeen supporters attended a Premiership match at Pittodrie in September
Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen v Hamilton Academical
Venue: Pittodrie Date: Tuesday, 19 October Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland DAB/810MW/online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website; highlights on BBC Scotland channel from 23:00

Scottish football fans are waiting for clubs and government to deliver a "real plan" for the return of crowds, says Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack.

Aberdeen wanted to stage a second test event for Sunday's visit of Celtic.

But Cormack says the proposal to allow 1,000 supporters into Pittodrie has been rejected.

The Dons were one of two clubs to host a test event last month, but further pilots were put on hold amid the rise in Covid-19 cases in Scotland.

Writing on social media, Cormack said the suggested test event was backed by Aberdeen City Council, but had received a "polite no" from the Scottish government.

He also stated that no positive test for coronavirus had been linked to the 300 supporters who attended the Dons' 1-0 win over Kilmarnock in September.

Cormack added: "Hundreds of thousands of fans eagerly await clubs and the Scottish government coming up with a real plan."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says the consequences for football will be "drastic" if the game cannot get fans back in soon, both in terms of finances and safeguarding jobs.

"The situation nationwide is really challenging, we understand there has to be a balance," said McInnes. "We know that people are being asked to be mindful of their movements but we have complete confidence we can provide a safe environment.

"We're confident we can guarantee that safety in an outdoor space. I've got to safeguard the team, the chairman is just safeguarding the club. But we understand and respect the conditions in the country as a whole."

In a statementexternal-link released later on Monday, Aberdeen added they have received the backing of Aberdeen City Council to run further test events.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "We recognise this has been an enormously challenging time for football and other spectator sports and we appreciate the support of supporters, clubs and authorities over recent months to help us tackle the virus.

"We are working in partnership with the football authorities and clubs to ensure the necessary public health measures are in place to open up grounds to a limited numbers of supporters once it is safe to do so.

"However - with rising cases - there is no immediate prospect of supporters returning because, as the first minister has said, the virus has not gone away and we all need to keep working to protect the NHS and public services, and help keep people safe."

Meanwhile, Aberdeen quartet Sam Cosgrove, Michael Devlin, Greg Leigh and Matty Kennedy have returned to training following injury but are unlikely to feature against Hamilton Academical at Pittodrie on Tuesday and Curtis Main remains out.

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