FORMER Rangers striker Steven Thompson has recalled how the San Siro felt ‘haunted’ during his surreal experience of behind closed doors football against Inter Milan. 

The 41-year-old was part of the Gers side which narrowly lost 1-0 the Serie A giants in September 2005, with the Champions League showdown played in an empty stadium as punishment after crowd trouble marred Inter’s match against AC Milan the previous season. 

A deflected David Pizarro strike was enough to secure the win for the hosts, but Thompson - who replaced Hamed Namouchi in the dying embers of the contest - insists the experience was bizarre and far from ideal. 

The Scottish Premiership has been given the green light to start in August but is likely to begin in front of deserted stands amid the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Thompson recalled: “I played in a behind closed doors match for Rangers against Inter Milan at the San Siro. 

“I came on for the last five minutes - as usual during my time there - and it was surreal. 

“It was even more strange due to the size of the San Siro and it almost felt haunted. 

“You could hear every shout echoing around the stadium. It was so different to what you would want.” 

While Thompson reckons class will still shine through on the pitch, he believes the tempo of games will be negatively effected by the lack of punters.

And he is fascinated to see which teams - and players - react best to the unique circumstances. 

The St Mirren legend told BBC Sportsound: “The better players are still going to shine but I feel like the fans help to create the tempo of the game

“But the fans are what make the game. There are so many times when there might be a wee lull in the game and the supporters drive you on. You feel that energy willing you on to score and it makes such a difference. 

“The most interesting thing for me will be watching how the players get themselves up for it without the fans.”