MORTON bosses have revealed the scale and cost of the operation they have had to put in place to enable pre-season training to start today.

The club is having to shell out £3,500 every week on Covid-19 testing kits and has implemented a whole host of safety measures to turn Cappielow into a safe, bio-secure space.

The first team squad will begin with a phased return as they gear up for their competitive restart against Queen of the South at Cappielow on October 6.

Chief executive Dave MacKinnon revealed the procedures that have been put in place for both players and fans after Nicola Sturgeon yesterday revealed her plan to allow fans back into the grounds from September 14, albeit with limited capacities.

He told the Tele: “We’ve had to go through 40-50 hours of work to get the club and our facilities up to the standards that would give the government and the SFA the guarantee that we are bio-secure, in turn allowing us to return to training.

“It’s been a lengthy process, but at the end of the day this is the reality of the situation.

"We fully appreciate the hoops we have to jump through, because it’s paramount that as a football club we do everything to protect the players, the staff and indeed the community of Inverclyde.

“We wanted to make Cappielow a fortress last season, now it is in more ways than one.

“It’s been challenging at times, but it’s never something that we’ve not supported, and all the work has been put in has meant that we are ready to return to training this week.

“At Cappielow there is now strict temperature control access, we’ve put equipment in so that if people are coming into Cappielow, which has been few and far between, have to be checked before they come in.

“If their temperature is above 37.5 then they automatically don’t get access.

“We’ve put one-way systems in place throughout the stadium and we’ve put in an expensive sanitisation system throughout.

“Everyone who manages to get through the access systems will then have to fill out a track and trace form which means we can contact them if any events were to occur and symptoms were developed.

“Players will be tested twice a week, which will cost the club £3,500 per week, and they will complete a health questionnaire before every training session as well as the temperature checks upon arrival at their staggered return to training.

“This means we’ll be able to have a firm grip on the players' physical condition upon their arrival to training.

“If they don’t tick these boxes then they will have to self-isolate for seven days.

“They understand how important it is to keep within their bubbles outwith training as well.”

MacKinnon says this is the first step in the long road back to normality after a six-month hibernation period for Scottish football.

He praised the first team for their attitude towards the staggered return as well as their co-operation and understanding towards the new procedures in place.

He said: “There’s a big responsibility on the players to ensure that they comply with the requirements set out and to a man they’ve been hugely supportive of that.

“They’ve been out for six months and they realise what’s required of them.

"I think they’ve missed being in and around the club.

“It’s a big burden to put on young players shoulders, but I’m really impressed with their attitude that they’ve shown.

“They’ve still got that commitment and desire for the club after such a lengthy lay off.

"Six months is a long time in such a short career.

“I’ve got great admiration for their feedback and both myself and the manager are proud of the way they’ve conducted themselves in what’s going to be the start of a very challenging period.”