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Jim McInally: Peterhead boss would rather skip season than have no fans

Peterhead boss McInally says football without fans is “meaningless”

It would be better to skip next season in Scottish League One and Two than play behind closed doors, says Peterhead boss Jim McInally.

The German Bundesliga restarted last week without fans, with the English Premier League planning to do likewise.

There are no firm plans for restarting football in Scotland, but McInally says clubs such as League One Peterhead cannot sustain closed-door games.

“We shouldn’t even try it,” he told the GoBonus’s Scottish Football Podcast.

“If we were to play without fans, I would probably give this season a miss – for League One and Two anyway.

“And hopefully we could get some sort of subsidy. We’ve only got four players signed up for next season so somewhere along the line we would need to come to some sort of agreement with them but we would need help.”

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Queen of the South chairman Billy Hewitson said on Thursday it would be “financial suicide” to restart football without cash subsidies for clubs.

The game will be permitted to return in phase two of the Scottish government’s easing on lockdown restrictions, which could be around 18 June.

The SPFL is to ask if clubs can train from 10 June but McInally – the SPFL’s longest-serving manager – believes unless matches resume with supporters it is “meaningless” and a “waste of time”.

“It’s not proper football,” he said. “It’s a closed-door friendly. Watching the Bundesliga last week, because there wasn’t a crowd there, the players weren’t under any pressure to pass the ball forward.

“It doesn’t appeal to me. Football without fans is just pretty senseless to me.”

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