Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has warned cash strapped Scottish clubs will need help to pay for regular Covid-19 testing.
SPFL clubs face a huge bill for regular testing as Scottish football attempts to return from the coronavirus shutdown.
That help could come from Edinburgh-based businessman James Anderson, who is set to donate £2 million to provide emergency financial aid through the crisis.
McInnes insists any help, such as Anderson’s proposed aid, would be a “Godsend” for Scottish football clubs.
Players and staff involved in training will need to be tested twice every week, with the weekly cost between £4,500 to £6,000.
There is a concern those prohibitive costs would likely rule out any chance of the three lower divisions in Scotland restarting any time soon as the outlay would be too costly for part-time clubs without financial help.
With the projected Premiership restart eight weeks away from the June 11 return to training, the cost of testing for top flight clubs before games will be between £36,000 and £48,000.
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack hopes can start returning to Pittodrie partially in November or December with full capacity in January 2021.
Even that would be five months without gate money at best and seven without the prospect of finances from opening up Pittodrie fully.
That could rocket testing costs up to more than £100,000 before supporters are allowed even into Pittodrie, even in reduced, socially-distanced numbers.
McInnes said: “It is clear that testing and constant testing is going to be a huge part of this return to training and eventual return to playing.
“All clubs are going to need some support with that and how it is actually financed.
“Because it isn’t cheap.”
There will be a partial revenue stream until supporters are allowed back in as the SPFL and Sky Sports have agreed a deal for Premiership clubs to live stream behind-closed-door games.
Aberdeen confirmed games will be streamed for the 6,400 supporters who have already purchased season tickets for the 2020-21 season.
The club will also investigate potential “pay at the gate” virtual tickets for individual games.
Financial help for testing for Scottish clubs could come from Edinburgh tycoon Anderson.
Anderson, who has already pumped £9m into Hearts over the last five years, has held talks with SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster on the potential £2m donation.
As the money is viewed as “exceptional income”, the SPFL would be duty bound to hand an equal share to all 42 clubs.
That would be the equivalent of around £50,000 (£47,619), which would be enough to cover coronavirus tests.
McInnes said: “It would be a huge shot in the arm if that was to be the case for all clubs.
“Any money coming into the game would be a godsend at this moment in time.”
The SFA will lift football’s suspension on June 11 allowing for Aberdeen to start non-contact training at Cormack Park.
Under protocols sent to each team under the current phase of exiting lockdown, tackling will be banned.
Players will also receive contactless temperature checks, and equipment such as balls, corner flags and cones must be cleaned after every session.
Each player and member of staff will have to fill out a Covid-19 questionnaire before every session.
Aberdeen have a number of representatives on the Coronavirus SPFL and SFA Joint Response Group.
Pittodrie non executive director Duncan Fraser is the co-chair alongside SFA chief medical consultant Dr. John MacLean on the Medical and Player Welfare group.
Aberdeen head of medical Adam Stokes is also on that group that has investigated coronavirus testing, emerging from lockdown safely and risk assessment.
McInnes said: A couple of our lads at the club have been on the working groups.
“Adam Stokes has been working with John MacLean as well from the SFA.
“We are well aware of how we need to try to get players tested every three to four days.
“Obviously there is a financial implication to that and we are trying to find out the best way that could be possible for all the clubs.
“It is going to be quite expensive to try to organise all that.”
Upon the return to training on June 11, players will initially work in staggered time slots with minimised numbers of coaching staff while social distancing must be maintained.
By the fourth phase, normal contact group training can resume while still complying with Scottish government safety guidance for group gatherings.
McInnes said: “When we go back we will be restricted in what we will be able to do.
“But at least we will be able to have eyes on the players.”
Have you listened to this week’s Northern Goal podcast with Peterhead boss Jim McInally yet?