St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin accuses Neil Lennon and Derek McInnes of public shaming

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin on the touchline
St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin on the touchline (PA Archive)
15:23pm, Fri 22 Jan 2021
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St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has taken a swipe at Neil Lennon and Derek McInnes after accusing them of “publicly shaming” fellow Premiership clubs over their Covid-19 safeguards.

The Saints manager is upset his Celtic and Aberdeen counterparts have chosen to air the game’s dirty laundry in public at a time when the Scottish Government has threatened to crack down on privileges given to elite sport on the back of alleged protocol breaches.

Lennon hit out at the dressing room arrangements at St Johnstone and Hamilton as he rounded on the critics of his club’s controversial Dubai trip in an explosive press conference earlier this week.

“We have been going to away grounds where we are cramped in like sardines,” raged the Parkhead boss. “Boxing Day at Hamilton there was no social distancing there, there was no physical distancing.

“It is inconsistent. Protocols of different clubs are inconsistent. We go to St Johnstone all crammed into a little dressing room.”

St Johnstone and Accies both released statements rejecting Lennon’s claims but McInnes backed up the Northern Irishman as he later expressed his own worries about the set-up at two unnamed clubs.

The Dons boss said: “There are a couple of grounds where the concerns are clear right from the outset and you are a bit nervous about that next Covid test.”

Scottish football’s Joint Response Group have now emailed the 22 Premiership and Championship clubs to ask them to review what space they provide for rival teams – but Goodwin is angry about the approach taken by Lennon and McInnes.

He said: “I’ve got no issues with any of the other clubs.

“I think we need to be careful within football. When I listen to these other managers talking other clubs down in the media, I don’t think it’s healthy. I don’t think it’s positive.

“If those are the concerns they have, then go speak to people higher up in their own club and get them to pass on that message back to the clubs involved and speak to the SFA.

“I don’t think we need to go publicly shaming anybody. Every club in the country is doing their very best they can with the facilities we’ve got available to us.

“From our own point of view, we haven’t changed a great deal on a match day.

“The opposing team use our away dressing room and we’ve given them another couple of rooms off the back of it.

“Some teams, because they don’t have the facilities, we are using part of the stand (to accommodate the opposition) but I have no issue with how other teams are doing it.

“As far as I’m concerned, the guidelines have been followed.

“And I think experienced people within the game need to be careful how they put things out in the public because we’re working very hard with the SFA, the SPFL and the government to keep the game alive.

“I can’t understand why some managers feel the need to go out and shoot ourselves in the foot like that.

“I’m not saying don’t raise the concerns, but raise it differently.”

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