St Mirren say six of seven Covid tests ‘negative’
St Mirren seven staff initially tested positive (pic: SNS Group)
UPDATE 1.45pm: Pressure eased on Scottish football to postpone the start of the new season after St Mirren said further tests on six of the seven coaching and backroom staff suspected to have contracted Covid-19 were negative.
Chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick released a statement in which he said the positive tests on Thursday had come from a private facility. Following further tests at an NHS centre today only one of the staff showed a positive result.
No players have been infected but a friendly match against St Johnstone planned for 25 July has been cancelled and the incident has forced a tightening up of the testing regime for all clubs.
St Mirren will host Livingston in their opening SPL fixture next Saturday.
As part of the Return to Football strategy presented to the Scottish Government by the Joint Response Group (JRG) clubs are required to ensure all players are tested once a week, with any player or member of staff returning a positive result isolated.
The JRG issued instructions to clubs yesterday to go back to testing players and staff twice a week.
Pre-season has already been disrupted by clubs not complying with the new rules. Hibs were forced to cancel a friendly with Ross County after the club’s tests were not returned in time.
Aberdeen pay cut
Aberdeen’s players, staff and management have volunteered to take pay cuts averaging 20%.
The club last week said it faced a £10m loss from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The latest cuts have been introduced as the club prepares for the 2020-21 season, under the assumption that they “will be playing in front of limited crowds for most, if not all” of the next campaign.
Aberdeen said the wage cuts have contributed to reducing the funding gap from £10m to £3.8m.
The club has also received £2m from investors, saved a further £2m through the Government’s job retention scheme, as well as £1m extra from season-ticket sales and £200,000 from less than expected 2019-20 season-ticket and seasonal-hospitality refunds.