Football fans have been starved of the chance to go to football all too often over the last few years, for one reason or another.
That’s why it’s heart-warming that clubs all over the country are reporting big crowds as we get to the business end of the season.
We had over 5,500 at Arbroath for Dundee recently and it was brilliant to see Gayfield packed.
But it looks like one game that should be played in front of a capacity crowd – Dundee’s trip to Queen’s Park on the final day – won’t be.
It’s been reported that Queen’s Park are only offering an initial allocation of just 400 to Dundee for the game on May 5th.
— Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) April 9, 2023
The stadium they are groundsharing with Stenhousemuir holds over 3,700.
With the best will in the world, there’s no way Queen’s Park are filling the rest of it.
I know why they are doing it but do I have sympathy with them? No.
Their new stadium at Lesser Hampden has been delayed and that has meant a lot of their games have been shifted to Friday nights.
That caused inconvenience to teams like Arbroath, who had part-time lads taking time off work.
It has also, often, given them a head start on other teams.
Competitive advantage for Dundee at Queen’s Park?
They won’t want Dundee dominating their ground and potentially gaining a competitive advantage in the title race with their vast support.
I get that.
I also get the fact that financially they are seeing the bigger picture.
What is one full house when they could potentially be in the Scottish Premiership next year?
But it just feels plain wrong to me that the ordinary fan is the one that suffers.
Fans spend a lot of money on football and wait 36 games for one like this to come round.
Dundee fans have been incredibly loyal and deserve the chance to see this match.
Look at the excitement Arbroath fans had when they travelled down to Kilmarnock in their thousands last year.
They shouldn’t be locked out of a game of this magnitude for this reason.
Of course things could change.
The decision could be reversed by Queen’s Park having their hand forced or, they may even simply change their mind after this weekend.
A lot could be decided in the title race this weekend.
It’s a big week. Could Dundee get the win over Cove that would put real pressure on Queen’s Park to get a result at Morton?
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) April 26, 2023
They should certainly use this ticket row as added motivation.
I’ve said from day one that I believe Dundee were favourites for the title. I haven’t shifted from that opinion.
But I also know how mad this league can be.
You can never really predict the results. Cove have already beaten Dundee this season and you can’t rule it out happening again.
Of course Dundee will be hoping that a big home crowd will roar them over the line and then see what happens on Saturday.
St Johnstone v Dundee United: Split drama
The bottom 6 split fixtures have thrown up some cracking matches.
A few weeks ago, United would never have imagined they’d be one win away from overtaking St Johnstone.
I dare say St Johnstone never imagined they’d be in that position either.
But the resurgence of United under Jim Goodwin has been remarkable and St Johnstone will desperately be hoping they can get a lift from Steven MacLean.
Whatever happens, it won’t decide the fate of either side, they’ll still have 12 points to fight for.
It could, however, go a long way towards securing survival.
All to play for in Angus
Over in Angus it’s great to see four teams with something to play for.
At Arbroath we are hoping to secure survival.
Montrose still have a chance of getting into the Championship play-offs and Forfar are hoping to reach the League One play-offs.
Brechin City are the new Highland League champions and are into the pyramid play-offs. Congratulation to them.
It would be fantastic to see all four clubs have success. We are rivals but all have mutual respect for the other Angus clubs.
I’m sure we’d all welcome Brechin back into League Two.