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‘It’s just decision making on no evidence’: Alexander queries fan limit

The Motherwell boss sees no logic in the government's restrictions on football.

‘It’s just decision making on no evidence’: Alexander queries fan limit SNS Group

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander has criticised the Scottish Government over the restrictions placed on Scottish football to counter the Omicron variant.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced earlier this week that from Boxing Day a maximum of 500 supporters would be admitted to large scale events.

That decision has prompted the SPFL to move the winter break in order to minimise the effect on clubs and supporters.

Criticism of the plan increased when national clinical director Jason Leitch said in an interview that the figure of 500 fans was “just a judgement”.

He said that choosing a number was difficult but that the intent was to minimise risk but admitted that: “There isn’t a particular public health route that takes you to 500 people”.

Unhappy fans made their feelings known at midweek games and, speaking ahead of his side’s Boxing Day clash with Livingston, Alexander made his feelings clear.

He said: “I don’t see the sense in just coming up with a number. For who?

“Five-hundred for us is I don’t know what percentage of our crowd and stadium but 500 for Celtic, for example, is completely different in relevance for each club.

“I think things like that undermine other messages that are evidence-based and thought out, where there an idea behind the decision.

“I think just throwing a number out, where you have to draw a line, that for me is just, I think it weakens any other argument for what you are doing when making decisions.

“So I think that’s just decision making on no evidence at all and no understanding of the contrasts between each club.”

Rangers also commented on the restrictions. The Ibrox club said it is “immensely frustrated” by the limits, as it communicated ticket ballot plans to supporters.

A club statement read: “Rangers Football Club notes the recent announcement made by the First Minister, which will severely reduce the number of supporters able to access Ibrox Stadium for our Boxing Day fixture with St Mirren.

“This match will go ahead following discussions with fellow SPFL clubs in recent days.

“We share the immense frustration of our loyal fans, who would have ensured the match would have been a sell-out, however, we will now only be able to welcome a miniscule proportion of that proposed crowd to the stadium.

“A ballot will be held to ensure an extremely limited number of our season ticket holders will be able to attend the match, with those successful notified at the earliest opportunity.”