Scotland’s tiered coronavirus restriction system provides the Highland League with encouragement about the return of fans, according to division secretary Rod Houston.
The Highlands and Moray being placed in tier one means 11 clubs in the Highland League would be allowed to admit a limited number of supporters to grounds.
However, with Aberdeenshire being in tier two Inverurie Locos, Formartine United, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Turriff United and Deveronvale would not be allowed to let fans in.
The start of the 2020-21 Highland League campaign will not be before November 28, with the clubs’ stance being that they won’t start without fans.
The league management committee are set to meet to night and a decision about whether to aim for a November 28 start, or further delay the campaign kicking off, could be made.
The league could potentially request special dispensation to allow the Aberdeenshire clubs to let fans in like their counterparts in Moray and the Highlands.
Houston said: “Getting 11 clubs into tier one to allow spectators in has been very encouraging, but we know we have to do a little bit of work to see if we can get the six Aberdeenshire clubs to have spectators as well so everyone can start with spectators.
“That’s a challenge we’re working our way through and at the league management committee meeting we’ll be able to take stock of things and have a better idea of what is possible.
“We’re exploring options just now and we do have to be careful how we go about things and not lose sight of the fact there is a global pandemic going on.
“If we were to ask for any form of dispensation we would need to have clear and credible reasons for that.
“Getting a lot of young people out and being physically active, as they teams would be, and people getting a chance to go back to watching football I would argue makes a big contribution to the wellbeing agenda.”
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The Highland League took the decision to delay the start of the new season until November 28 at the earliest on September 27, having previously been aiming for an October 17 start.
Houston added: “When the original decision was taken there were quite a lot of unknowns, now there are still a number of imponderables but we now know a lot more about the likely scenario for the next while.
“The chances are this thing is going to be hanging around for quite some time so we’ve got to see if we can be in a position to make all the arrangements that minimise the risk while getting the benefit of football being played and spectators getting in.
“We’ll have to deal with changing circumstances as they occur, but ultimately it will be the clubs that decide depending on how they feel.”