Championship clubs call for crowd restrictions to be lifted early

Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock have requested change ahead of their match on Friday.

Championship clubs call for crowd restrictions to be lifted early Alan Harvey via SNS Group
Firhill will only be allowed 500 fans, as things stand.

Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock have requested that the restriction on large-scale crowds be lifted early for their Championship clash this weekend.

The Scottish Government announced on Monday that the current restrictions, which state that only a maximum of 500 people can attend an outdoor sporting event, will end on January 17, allowing football grounds to be filled to maximum capacity.

Premiership clubs, who moved their winter break to coincide with the limit on supporters, return to action next week and will enjoy large crowds but clubs in the Championship have played matches under the new rules, suffering a limit to revenue and support.

Two of those clubs meet on Friday night, three days before the rules change, and they want to see a change made to allow them to play in front of as many supporters as possible.

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Partick Thistle, who will be at home to Kilmarnock, say they have taken steps to request that the limits are lifted early.

A club statement read: “Partick Thistle was pleased to hear the good news that restrictions on fan numbers at games are to be removed. However, we don’t understand why this hasn’t happened immediately.

“The Premiership restarts on the 17th with full crowds but other leagues, playing as usual this weekend, continue to be disadvantaged for a further three days.

“As well as the significant financial impact on Thistle, this decision means our fans face another game where the majority cannot attend and we cannot welcome opposition fans.

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“We have asked the question to see if there is any scope to bring the date forward as we owe it to our fans to try. We know it’s a long shot and unlikely to be changed but the right thing to do was to state our case rather than simply accept being disadvantaged again.”

Kilmarnock back the move, with a tweet from the club saying: “We welcome and support Partick Thistle’s statement and will assist them in any way to try to allow both sets of fans to be at Firhill.”