Queen of the South has apologised to supporters after politician George Galloway attended the football club’s Boxing Day fixture.
The former MP tweeted a picture from the Scottish Championship match in Dumfries, which Dundee won 3-1, on the day mainland Scotland moved into level four of the coronavirus restrictions which prohibits stadia being open to spectators.
Police are now investigating the incident “to establish if any offences were committed”.
Following a backlash from fans, the club was forced to issue a second statement that explained Galloway was given permission to attend the match when the region was in tier one.
The board said it was a “genuine mistake” and accepted it should have informed Galloway that he could no longer attend the game due to the change in levels.
The club’s first statement, issued on Sunday, said: “We can confirm that George Galloway did attend our game against Dundee at Palmerston yesterday.
“He was socially distant within an area of the ground where he formed a bubble with his family. All Covid protocols were followed at all times.
“We would like to apologise to our supporters who have been upset by his attendance at the match.”
On social media, Galloway defended his attendance.
He stated he lived in Dumfries and Galloway, his family had five season tickets, and he was “about to be a sponsor”.
Sorry @OfficialQosFC this is not good enough. Fans deserve an explanation not this half hearted apology. The inference from @georgegalloway is he bought access having paid for several season tickets and offered to be a sponsor. This needs to be publicly addressed by the board. https://t.co/HVeuWxd2hy— Colin Smyth (@ColinSmythMSP) December 27, 2020
In response, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said the club’s apology was “not good enough”.
He added: “Fans deserve an explanation not this half-hearted apology.
“The inference from George Galloway is he bought access having paid for several season tickets and offered to be a sponsor.
“This needs to be publicly addressed by the board.”
On Monday morning, the club issued a further apology.
In a statement, the board said: “Reflecting on our statement to the fans last night we realise that we should have given a fuller apology.
“George Galloway was granted permission to attend our game against Dundee when Dumfries and Galloway was in tier one and fans were being allowed back into matches.
“We however accept that we should’ve readdressed the decision once the rules changed and should’ve informed Mr Galloway that he could no longer attend the match.
“We realise it was a total error of judgement and we should have been more considerate of our loyal supporters.
“We would again like to issue an unreserved apology to our fans and would like to reassure them that we fully accept and understand their anger. It was a genuine mistake that shouldn’t have been made.
“As we navigate our way through some tough times both on and off the park your valued support is needed more than ever.”
Police Scotland later confirmed an investigation has been launched.
A force spokesperson said: “We are looking into the matter to establish if any offences were committed and whether any further action may be appropriate.”