St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has confirmed his side could be forced to play both legs of their potential Europa League clash with Galatasaray at a neutral venue.
The Turkish giants are almost certain to be the Perth side’s opponents in the Europa League third qualifying round after they lost 5-1 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier to PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.
However, Turkey is currently on the Covid red-list and Saints have been told by UEFA that both legs could be moved to an alternative venue.
That will mean Perth fans are denied the chance to see their double cup-winning side in their European opener.
There could also be travel restrictions to the chosen country with two closed doors matches not ruled out.
And in a double blow to Saints, Davidson’s side could be forced to pay a five-figure sum to stage the event away from McDiarmid Park.
Playing Galatasary at a neutral venue will prove costly to St Johnstone
“It could be a possibility that we have to play both games at a neutral venue if we get Galatasaray,” said Davidson after his side’s 4-1 friendly win over Arbroath.
“We’re extremely disappointed. The reason we get into Europe is for the supporters.
“They want to watch Galatasaray – if it’s them – and for me it’s an extremely disappointing situation.
“It’s not cost-effective either for the club. It will actually cost the club money to do it too.
Memories of famous Euro nights in Perth
“There are obviously reasons for it which I don’t quite know or understand.
“All I know is when you get into Europe it’s all about the fans.
“I remember when we played Eskisehirspor there was a full house at McDiarmid Park. It was the same for Rosenbourg.
“These games are all about the supporters being able to come along and enjoy something different.
“Hopefully we can work towards a way where we can have the game at McDiarmid Park.
“If it is to be Galatasaray, we want to play against a top class team from Turkey in Perth.
“I would love us to get something done but I’m not an expert on the situation.
“I have to focus on getting eleven players on the park and see what happens next.”