The Highland League Management Committee have decided to call the 2020-21 season to a halt and declared Brora Rangers champions.
The committee has cited the lack of time left to conclude the campaign and the obligation to nominate a champion club for the pyramid play-off as the two main factors behind their decision.
A statement from the League Management Committee read: “The 2020-21 season has been shortened severely by pandemic circumstances.
“The League took great care to hold off beginning the Championship until it could start at a stage at which it was as safe as possible to do so in the communities in which the League is based.
“This was also for the sake of people involved in the League’s activities – its sense of responsibility to that context is important – and it has been unfortunate that another suspension of play occurred, thereby further truncating the season.
The Scottish Government has allowed the restart of Scottish Leagues 1 and 2, subject to weekly testing of all involved for the remainder of the season.
“The cost of PCR testing – at an estimated £1,500 per club per week – is beyond the sustainable resources of SHFL clubs for the length of even a shortened League campaign.
“It should be noted that, from the outset, the League’s top priority has been to seek to ensure that all clubs survived beyond the pandemic.
“Strict interpretation of the Pyramid Play-off rules means that the obligation to produce a champion club has to relate to the season in which the play-offs take place.
“The LMC therefore considered the matter using League rules and decision precedent of a points per game basis, and where necessary, goal difference as its guide.
“Consequently, with a decision having been made to call an end to Season 2020-21, the LMC unanimously agreed that Brora Rangers should be declared the SHFL champion club for season 2020-21 and be put forward as the SHFL’s nominated club for the SHFL/SLFL/SPFL play-offs.”