Fraserburgh chairman Finlay Noble hopes their Scottish Cup campaign can continue – but admits it doesn’t look too promising at present.
The competition has been put on hold for the time being following the suspension of football below the Championship.
The Broch progressed to the third round of the competition by beating Banks o’ Dee 2-1 on January 9 and were drawn at home to Nairn County or Montrose.
It remains to seen how the Scottish Cup will be resumed, particularly with no clear indication of when football below the second tier may restart.
Bellslea chief Noble said: “The Scottish Cup is one competition where there are riches to be got.
“In normal times the dream ties are Rangers or Celtic away from home, but when there’s no supporters in that sense it doesn’t matter as much.
“You’re then hoping to get as far as you can and have an experience that the players can maybe learn from and look back on fondly.
“We’re in the third round at home to Nairn and Montrose, we’re just not sure if that tie will take place.
“I’m sure the Scottish Cup will take place, whether it’s just with the full-time clubs from the Premiership and Championship, I don’t know.
“My gut feeling is that it isn’t looking great for resuming the Scottish Cup at our level, but you never know.
“If we needed to test to play a club that is also testing then I’m sure we could do that.
“But, at this moment in time, it doesn’t look as favourable because we can’t hold up the later rounds of the tournament.
“Once you’re into the last-16 and things those rounds need to be played on the dates that are set for it.
“There’s not much scope with them for postponements and that sort of thing.
“How the SFA get round that I’m not sure, but hopefully we’ll find out in the next week or so what’s going on with it.
“We should have been playing on Saturday against either Nairn or Montrose in the third round, but that’s not going to happen, so the tournament is already delayed and we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Highland League may be paused, but Noble believes the measures clubs had in place worked well.
He added: “Our procedures we’re following at the grounds are really strict because they are based on what was aimed at full-time clubs and we’ve got to be working to those standards.
“Graham Wilson (Highland League assistant secretary) and Rod Houston (Highland League secretary) took it in hand to beef up the procedures to suit Highland League grounds.
“The grounds are very safe and they’re all wide open spaces. Once you go through the gate there’s no tunnels or concourses or being under the stand and inside.
“There’s nothing like that and you’re in the open air all the time.
“We’ve had a couple of games with spectators at Lossiemouth and Nairn and the stands were being used for the substitutes, so you were in the fresh air and not undercover.
“The dressing rooms have been one difficulty, but because there’s been no supporters in we’ve been using the hospitality areas and there’s been plenty of room within these confines.
“Although things are stopped at the moment, the football grounds were very safe and probably as safe as you’re own house.
“Everyone was wearing masks, you’re still social distancing and you’re outside, so it feels more comfortable than being in a shop for example.
“In that respect it’s fine, but there’s also what goes on outside and people getting to games.
“Outside the ground and how people get to the games is an issue and with it being part-time everyone has a primary job and football is a pastime for them.
“Thankfully we are in the professional game being part of the pyramid and there are rules to abide by, so providing we do everything it should be OK.”