Clydebank FC are hoping for a way to let fans back into stadiums as pleas are made for more funding for lower league clubs.

A “Fans Fighting Fund” is being called for by politicians and football clubs alike as teams struggle to survive due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Fund would see the Scottish Government match the money fans raise to save their local teams such as Clydebank FC who play in the junior leagues.

Clydebank chair Grace McGibbon said: “While we recognise no one has ever been in this position before, we need to find a way forward the allows clubs like ourselves to let fans in. For many clubs at our level, the running costs without any fans could have a really devastating and long-lasting impact. 

“We are owned purely by the fans, so the supporters are quite literally the lifeblood of the club. 

“The support we’ve received from them – especially in buying season tickets without any guarantees of seeing a physical match – has been incredible. 

“We’ve been working hard to make a strong case for letting fans in. 

“We know we can physically distance on the terracing, have sanitiser available and make it a safe environment for supporters.”

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Maurice Corry, MSP for West Scotland, said clubs across the region were facing a crisis with no sign of fans returning anytime soon.

He said: “While we will need to look at a wide range of measures to support clubs, a Fans Fighting Fund is an initial positive measure the Scottish Government could implement in conjunction with fans.

“Almost £100 million was given by the UK Government to the Scottish Government in order to support our culture sector, and football is a huge part of the culture in communities in West of Scotland.

“This is a fair deal to support football and I will be continuing to stand up for the future of football clubs in West of Scotland.”

Joe FitzPatrick, sports minister, said: “I made it clear to the Joint Response Group that the Scottish Government is fully aware this has been an enormously challenging time for the sporting sector and the pandemic has put a real financial strain on many sporting organisations.

“I particularly appreciate the economic impact on football clubs of the delay of the return of spectators to stadia. 

“I appreciate the support of clubs, their supporters and football authorities over the past months in helping us tackle the effects of the pandemic.

“However, the virus has not gone away and we all need to keep working to protect the NHS and public services, and help keep people safe.

“The government will continue to work closely with the governing bodies of football to ensure its long-term sustainability.