IAN MAXWELL has warned that there are no guarantee fans will be allowed into any of Scotland’s remaining fixtures in 2020, leaving the Scottish Football Association staring at a loss of £3m.

Maxwell, the SFA chief executive, has held talks with the Scottish government with a view to allowing at least a reduced number of supporters to attend the four remaining international fixtures due to take place at Hampden Park this year.

But he conceded that Steve Clarke and his men may well have to do without the backing of the Tartan Army in their three Nations League matches and the Euro 2020 play-off against Israel, leaving the game’s governing body bracing for a huge financial hit.

“If we don’t get spectators into the upcoming internationals or the Scottish Cup matches, it will be a revenue loss of around £3 million,” Maxwell said.

“That’s the worst-case scenario with no spectators at all at any of those games. The conversations we are having with government, talking about a gradual return of spectators, would reduce that. But those are the kind of numbers we are looking at.

“I don’t think we can be confident what the capacity for matches at Hampden will be, because there are so many unknowns. No-one can give us any clarity.

“You could set out a plan which saw you get close to full capacity but if there is a second spike, you don’t know. We really just need to work as hard as we can with government to make sure we can accommodate as many spectators as it is safe to do so.”

Maxwell says that despite the inevitable reduction in income this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SFA will endeavour to maintain the percentage of their revenue which is distributed to clubs going into 2021.

“In 2019, the turnover was £37.9m, and we managed to distribute £11.25m to the clubs, so just under a third of our income went back out to members which we’re delighted to do,” he said.

“Everybody is aware of the financial challenges of every business in terms of 2020 and what those numbers look like, only time will tell.

“We’re working hard to maintain the revenue that we’ve got, and we’re obviously having to look at the cost base like everybody else is.

“Nobody knows the answer to [what our turnover will be]. As I touched on, we could be looking at a £3m loss.

“There will obviously be some sort of loss because there’s things that would have happened that we can’t get back, but if we can get spectators back into stadiums and we can mitigate that figure, then the turnover will be what it will be.

“It’s far too early to tell with any certainty what that number is, it’s just about trying to drive as much revenue as we can and being as effective as we can in terms of controlling the cost base.”

Meanwhile, Maxwell says he does feel sympathy for his former club, Partick Thistle, who are fighting their relegation alongside Hearts, but he was keen to distance the SFA themselves from the arbitration process which kicked off this week.

“It is impossible not to have sympathy for everyone affected by this virus,” he said. “We are dealing with a set of circumstances you would never be able to foresee.

“You don’t have a Covid or pandemic section in your rulebook to get you through these difficult times. We are dealing with unprecedented uncertainty over society as a whole.

“It has been really challenging and decisions have been taken and clubs like Hearts and Partick Thistle find themselves in the situations they find themselves in. But the Scottish FA’s focus has been on looking forward and getting the game back as soon as we can.

“I have no idea [if the SFA has received submissions from Hearts and Thistle], and the reason I have no idea is that we’re not involved in the process, it’s an independent arbitration.

“The Scottish FA provide some secretarial support, but it’s the panel members and the panel chair that deal with the submission of any information.

“I’m not involved in that all, there is no need for me to be or requirement, and it’s absolutely right that we aren’t because it is an independent process.

“That will run its own course, but we are not involved at all.”