St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin believes authorities in Scotland need to be more open-minded in how they deal with Covid-19 issues, pointing to other leagues as examples of what he thinks is a “common sense” approach.
The Saints are fighting against the SPFL’s decision to make them forfeit games after two matches were postponed last year following a coronavirus outbreak at the club.
A week before their appeal is heard by an independent panel, Goodwin has pointed to England where a number of games postponed because of the virus are rearranged, and to Italy where a similar decision was overturned.
Stating his belief that “common sense should prevail”, he said: “[The SPFL and SFA] are doing the best they can but I do think there’s certain situations where you need to be a bit more open-minded and not be so quick to criticise and to punish.
“I don’t see any major investigations down in England in any of the leagues. The FA down there are quite understanding of the situation and leave it to the two clubs to find other dates to fit into the calendar.
“It’s as simple as that and that’s all we’re asking for.”
Goodwin revealed that Kilmarnock and St Mirren had highlighted available dates to the SPFL when they could play the outstanding fixtures and stressed that the knock-on effect of forfeits could affect the fight for European places, top six positions and the relegation battle.
With that in mind, he also called on other clubs to speak out.
“I think it’s time that every other club out there that’s not involved in it, joined in and showed that they’re not happy with the situation at the moment,” he said.
“I just don’t think that ourselves and Kilmarnock get punished. We’ve made mistakes that we’ve admitted to but I can guarantee you that the clubs are doing the best that they possibly can with the facilities available to them. Some players have made mistakes.
“Aberdeen, Celtic, our players car sharing. We’ve all mistakes and we’re all learning as this thing develops. I’m delighted that since this all happened we’ve had nothing but negative tests.
“Awarding points to teams that haven’t had to step on the park is not the way forward.
“If these penalties had been put in place back in the summer before a ball was kicked then we couldn’t argue about it. You can’t just introduce sanctions and penalties as the league is going on.
“I would just hope whoever is on the panel can use a bit of common sense. We can see what’s happening throughout thew world at the moment and we’re all doing the best we can. Not just football: every industry, every sport but unfortunately this thing catches us all out from time to time.”