Supporters have saved Scottish football during the pandemic and will hopefully get their reward by returning in force to stadiums next month.
Without the support of fans throughout the last 16 months of lockdown I don’t think Scottish football would have survived.
Clubs have been denied vital income due to the Covid-19 crisis with supporters locked out of grounds for more than a year.
However they still rallied round to back their individual clubs during their time of need.
The pandemic has further underlined the crucial role football fans play in the game.
Supporters displayed an incredible strength to ensure their clubs survived testing times.
They bought virtual season tickets to put money into their club even though they faced the prospect of an entire campaign without seeing live action in a stadium.
Fears clubs would go under
Now fans are finally within touching distance of being rewarded for that loyalty by being allowed back into stadiums.
National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch has revealed Scottish stadiums could be full after August 9 when all major Covid-19 restrictions are set to be lifted.
When the pandemic first hit in March last year the notion of teams playing without any fans for a prolonged period of time sent shock waves through Scottish football.
The game was locked down and the last time there was an unrestricted attendance at Pittodrie was the 3-1 defeat of Hibs on March 7 last year.
Since then there have been only 300 supporters inside Pittodrie for one test match against Kilmarnock in September.
I did think some clubs would go to the wall but am absolutely delighted that has not been the case.
That is all down to everybody pulling together for the benefit of Scottish football with supporters at the very heart of that.
There has also been help through the government and donations, including £3m from Edinburgh based businessman James Anderson last summer.
Supporters hungry for return to stadia
Everyone that has contributed to keeping the game in Scotland alive should be applauded as it has been a very long and concerning period.
The pandemic has been extremely difficult for a lot of clubs but it has been brilliant that they have managed to adhere to the rules to get back to playing games.
The imminent return of supporters to stadia is fantastic news particularly at this time of the year when clubs are trying to sell season tickets.
Hopefully we can continue to receive positive news with regards to the return of fans as the vaccination campaign is going very well.
Some supporters may still be reluctant to return due to the pandemic but I am sure the vast majority will be hungry to get back in again and enjoy the atmosphere.
Supporters returning to stadiums is wonderful and very much welcome news for clubs in terms of the revenue they will take in.
Having fans back will also see the return of the atmosphere players crave which helps give football its bite.
Edge and bite has been missing
That edge had been lacking due to the absence of supporters.
I tasted the atmosphere at Hampden for Scotland’s Euro 2020 Group D games against the Czech Republic and Croatia and it was great.
The supporters inside Hampden created a fantastic atmosphere and the authorities have to be applauded for making that happen.
There have been varying sizes of crowd throughout Europe in Euro 2020.
The one that surprised me was the 75,000 capacity in Budapest which really brought the colour and atmosphere back to the game.
It just hit home just what we have all been missing and underlined that we shouldn’t take the game and going to football matches for granted.
Euro 2020 has given everyone a taste of what is in store when we hopefully get full crowds back in August.
We are all just desperate to see football live again and when we supporters get back into the stadium they will certainly enjoy it after so long away.