Why SPFL shouldn't take blame for Dundee and St Mirren Covid-19 issues

Livingston boss David Martindale doesn’t believe the blame lies with the SPFL regarding the issues faced by St Mirren and Dundee with positive Covid-19 cases.

Livingston manager David Martindale. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Buddies and Dens Park side have both requested postponements for recent fixtures due to a number of first-team players missing through isolation.

Dundee boss James McPake registered 41-year-old assistant manager Dave Mackay as a substitute for the weekend’s fixture at Aberdeen. He was one of four subs, none of which were used in the 2-1 loss.

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The SPFL have faced criticism from a number of quarters, including Hearts star Andy Halliday who called for the body to help clubs.

The organisation issued a lengthy statement on Monday explaining its position and why changing the rules agreed by clubs at the start of the season would impact on sporting integrity.

It was a stance supported by Livi boss Martindale.

"I agree with the SPFL, 100 per cent if I’m honest," he told Sky Sports.

"Every club was involved in these talks at the start of the season. Every club were able to put their criteria forward and we had a vote it became that the unanimous decision or democracy for want of a better word, everybody agreed that if you had 13 players, one a goalkeeper, and ten of them were over 18 [years old] we were going to fulfil that fixture.

"I knew this was going to happen with teams. I had obviously called for a winter break to be brought forward a little bit earlier than some clubs because we could see this happening.

"I don’t think it is fair on sporting integrity but we have all got to realise, we all voted for this at the start of the season so I don't think you can lay the blame at the door of the SPFL.”

Martindale is hoping, in time, a shorter isolation period will be put in place having been encouraged by data and decisions made in South Africa and America.

"The signs are encouraging, the data coming out, there are a lot less ICU cases,” he said.

"The hospitalisations may have increased but the ICU cases are dramatically down and the deaths are dramatically down. That's an encouraging sign.”

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