St Mirren boss accuses SPFL of 'bending rules' to get Celtic match on

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has accused the SPFL and SFA of bending their own rules in order to ensure Wednesday evening's match against Celtic went ahead.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin pictured during the Celtic match at the SMiSA Stadium. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin pictured during the Celtic match at the SMiSA Stadium. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Buddies boss was forced to name a squad containing several teenagers with no first team experience after a Covid outbreak at the club left him struggling to field a side.

St Mirren’s attempts to have the match postponed fell on deaf ears with the SPFL rejecting the request despite the Paisley side returning 11 positive tests.

Instead, the governing bodies sanctioned the return of loan players from Lowland League clubs to ensure St Mirren had enough players to fulfil the fixture, which Goodwin says broke their own regulations.

"It's been extremely difficult," he told BBC Scotland prior to kick-off against Celtic.

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"We had major dialogue going back and forth with the SPFL and Joint Response Group explaining the situation to them.

"There's nobody here at St Mirren that wants to cancel games willy-nilly, but I think these circumstances are quite extreme.

"If we had only been missing three or four players through covid tests then it's a different situation but we actually got 11 positive cases and we were still waiting on a couple of PCR results this afternoon which haven't quite come through yet.

"We've asked for the game to be postponed but unfortunately the powers that be wanted the game to go ahead by hook or by crook.

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"Even so much so that they have bent their own rules a little bit in allowing us to bring six under-18 players back from their loans. Two were at East Kilbride, two were East Stirling and a couple from Cumbernauld Colts. They've allowed us to bring those boys in to bulk up the squad and that's where we are."

Goodwin also added that the club were not permitted to bring back loan players from SPFL clubs, namely Lewis Jamieson at Inverness and Daniel Finlayson at Kelty Hearts.

"They weren't allowing us to bring back the league players but the Lowland players they didn't seem to bother about," he said.

"They've went to great lengths to get the game on. They've explored every avenue so much so they're bending their own rules to allow us to get a group together that enables the fixture to go ahead."

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