CALLUM DAVIDSON has revealed that St Johnstone will be budgeting for a full season without fans – but the Perth boss is confident that he will given the funds to add to his squad this January window. 

Saints currently have the smallest squad in the Scottish Premiership, and with the Tayside outfit lingering at the foot of the table, Davidson is adamant that he needs reinforcements through the door. 

James Brown became the first McDiarmid Park arrival of the window after switching on loan from Millwall this week and asked if there would be more fresh faces heading to the Fair City, Davidson appeared confident. 

“I’ve spoken to the chairman and he says that if the right players become available who will improve the squad and give it freshness, there will be money there,” he told Herald and Times Sport. 

“Loans are probably the likelier option. Hopefully we can do something. January is a hard window. I need to make sure that whoever I get is hungry, determined to do well and is ready to hit the ground running and make an impact.” 

Asked if his transfer business would be impacted by the absence of supporters, Davidson continued: “I’d imagine so, thanks for that cheery question… I don’t think you’ll feel an effect this season, I think it’ll come next season.  

“A lot of clubs will have funds and it’s probably next season that it will knock on. And not just football, in all businesses. 

“We’ll get the knock-on effect once it all stops. Yeah, it’s difficult but we just need to deal with it and get on with it.” 

This summer will also see the end of 15 contracts at St Johnstone, with the likes of David Wotherspoon, Stevie May, Murray Davidson and Michael O’Halloran all searching for new deals. 

Davidson is keen to tie down as many of his squad as possible, but he admits the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc to his plans. 

He said: “It sort of works both ways. Some players react well [to being out of contract], some players don’t. I think it’s just really important that they’re all fighting for that contract. I think it’s harder now that we’re in lockdown again. 

“There isn’t really light at the end of the tunnel right now. For me, it would be easier if we knew exactly where we were and then I could start handing contracts out to the players I want to keep. But hopefully I can sit down with the chairman this month and speak about the ones we want to keep next season. 

“It’s in the back of your mind. We’re working behind the scenes to get four or five players tied up longer term. It will be an ongoing process to try and get some tied up. 

“You run a risk at this time of year but we would have had a much better picture if we hadn’t been going into another lockdown. 

“Much more business could have been done as far as our squad is concerned. For clubs offering big pre-contracts there’s an element of risk and reward – or just risk basically. 

“We don’t know what’s around the corner. The most important thing for me is making sure that St Johnstone are still a football club when we come out of the pandemic.” 

Davidson also confirmed that he hopes to send youngster Alex Ferguson out on loan before the end of the transfer period.

“You can’t organise games for the younger ones. Alex Ferguson is a top, top prospect. Getting him games will definitely help his development," he explained.

“I’m not really fussed where he goes, it’s more about just getting competitive games."

On the injury front Davidson was delighted that Scott Tanser’s injury sustained at Aberdeen was not as bad as first feared. 

He added: “We’re delighted. If you watched the incident back, the way he landed, I thought that was him for the season. He’s had a good week’s training and is pushing for a starting place. 

“Callum [Booth] has played well. It’s really good [to have competition]. Scotty probably has a more attacking side to his game and Callum is slightly more defensive. It’s good for me, it’s good to have. It’s great having competition for certain places, which I have throughout the majority of the team.”