Covid-hit St Mirren have postponement request rejected by SPFL as Premiership clash against Celtic goes AHEAD

The club’s training was suspended last week after 11 positive tests were recorded

Covid-hit St Mirren have been ordered to fulfil their Premiership clash against Celtic in Paisley this evening, despite the club’s request to the SPFL to postpone their festive fixtures yesterday.

The Buddies were rocked by further positive cases within their squad just days after 12 players and a member of the coaching staff were forced into self isolation.

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Training was suspended last week after the club recorded 11 positive tests and three more players plus another member of staff were reportedly symptomatic in recent days but those PCR tests returned negative.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has seen his training disrupted by the covid news. (Craig Foy / SNS Group)

A club statement released yesterday stated: “St Mirren Football Club can confirm that it has requested postponements of our upcoming cinch Premiership matches against Celtic and Rangers (Boxing day) following further positive Covid tests.

“We have tried our utmost to fulfil the fixture, however, following further positive Covid cases this morning we are unable to field a team for either match with a significant number of first-team players and staff unavailable.

“The health and wellbeing of our players and staff remains our utmost priority and we will continue to take every precaution necessary.

“We are in continued discussions with the SPFL and we will keep supporters updated as we look for a resolution to this matter.”

One further positive finding could have seen the game called off but their plea fell on deaf ears.

A spokesman for the SPFL said yesterday: “St Mirren’s postponement request has been rejected though we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Under emergency SPFL rules, matches must be played if any club still has 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper, providing 10 of the squad are over the age of 18.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin is preparing to take on managerless Hibs on Saturday

With the situation having worsened, Saints manager Jim Goodwin will have a depleted side to pick from with just 10 fit outfield players, including three goalkeepers, available and a number of academy youngsters are likely to be drafted into the squad.

Goodwin has been given special dispensation to recall four players who are currently on loan with clubs in the Lowland League.

Around 4,000 Celtic supporters are expected to attend tonight’s match which kick-off at 7.45pm as Ange Postecoglou’s side play their first game since clinching League Cup glory at Hampden on Sunday.