The return of supporters to stadiums in Scotland must be placed high on the agenda in any discussions between football authorities and the government.
They have to work towards getting supporters back into stadiums to save clubs who are absolutely vital to their communities.
Fans also have to be given something back for the support they have given to their clubs during recent difficult times amid the pandemic.
Aberdeen this week published reports of a survey conducted with the club’s supporters.
The results overwhelmingly revealed the Red Army are ready to go back to Pittodrie.
It stated 95% of fans are excited to return to matches at the stadium and 92% ready to return.
The report also stated 93% of the supporters who responded are reassured by the measures the club has in place to protect them at games.
Supporters want to go back to stadiums and believe clubs will make it safer for them to do so.
There must be discussions with the government and football authorities to see how we can live with the virus.
Outside spectator sport can be held within an environment that is totally controlled.
Clubs already have all the information on the participants such as telephone numbers, email address, their address because they are season-ticket holders.
Aberdeen held a successful test event in September when 300 Dons supporters attended the 1-0 win over Kilmarnock at Pittodrie.
Ross County also held a successful test on the same day and another earlier this month.
When you look at these events, the clue is in the name – “test”.
The tests have already been held and the results were good.
It was an A-plus pass for test events and that has to be taken on board.
There is no point giving clubs and supporters hope that they will get in to watch live football if you are just going to bin it after all the effort put in to make a safe environment for fans to return.
It is not like fans are indicating they do not want to come back to live events.
The Aberdeen survey proves they are desperate to come back to matches.
It also shows they are confident in the safety measures such as social distancing, temperature checks and the wearing of face masks.
We are not talking about full houses at Pittodrie or away supporters.
Instead, we are talking about the fans who have supported the club by buying their season ticket in a statement of support for their club.
When looking at the absence of supporters, we also have to see the impact it has on clubs and the work they do outwith football in the community. Football clubs such as Aberdeen do so many vital things when working within the community.
Clubs need supporters through the gates to generate revenue. We have to make sure we save our community clubs because of the work they put in on behalf of the general area.
That is work in the community the government doesn’t have to do or spend money on.
In the fight with coronavirus, the virus is winning because the only tool we have is lockdown and restrictions.
The whole country needs a bit of hope that there is a different route to living with this virus.
The return of supporters to games could give the whole nation hope we can come out of this and get back to some form of a normal life. Football is definitely part of that normal life.
Football clubs are also entrenched in local communities and are key to many people’s lives. This has to be recognised in any discussions to get supporters back.