Of all the things he has to worry about, the payment of wages to his staff is not a concern for Jim Goodwin, the Irish-born manager of Scottish side St Mirren.

“We had a board meeting last week and thankfully this club is in a very healthy position,” says Goodwin (right), aware that rivals such as Aberdeen (who have warned of a £5m (€5.5m) deficit due to Covid-19) will suffer.

“Our outgoings would be nowhere near the likes of Aberdeen or Hearts, in terms of salaries and staff.

“The players have been told their contracts will be honoured and we are one of the few clubs who are not in a difficult financial situation.

“That’s at the moment as I can’t say that won’t happen, but for the foreseeable future we have plenty of money in the bank to tide us over for the next four or five months,” added Goodwin, the Waterford native (38) who had been impressing in his debut season as manager in Scotland’s top flight before the coronavirus brought football to a halt.

Their last game before cessation, a 1-0 win over Hearts, was a major step towards avoiding relegation, with Goodwin looking up, not down.

“St Mirren’s highest-ever finish was eighth and I think we could have possibly matched that or beaten it,” he says.

His players were off duty last week and were due to train on Monday but that’s obviously been shelved. And he sees trouble ahead as the Scottish football authorities try to cope with a halted season which shows no sign of restarting.

Goodwin fears that rushing players back to playing duties, without a proper mini pre-season, would be dangerous and risk serious injury.

He also wonders about his 10 players who are out of contract in May: what is their status if the season is delayed or extended?

“I don’t see how we are going to be kicking a ball any time soon. I am realistic enough to know what’s happening in the world, this is not going away any time soon,” he admits.

“I don’t envy those who make the decisions, no one wants to just hand a club a league title or relegate someone when there is a chance of them staying in the league.

“It’s a nightmare and football is not that important at times like this.

“The big issues will be sponsorship and TV deals; if we say this season is null and void do all the companies come in and look for their money back? If that happens it’s a disaster as a lot of clubs spend the money as soon as they get it.”

Irish Independent



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