Keith FC chairman Andy Troup has reiterated the Highland League will not start without fans in stadiums.
The season is due to begin on October 17, but Troup admits to being left deflated by the first minister’s announcement of further restrictions yesterday in a bid to curb the spread of the virus in Scotland.
The date of October 5, for a phased return of fans to grounds in Scotland, looks likely to be pushed back.
Troup stressed it was too early to make any judgement calls on whether the start of the season would be impacted and the League Management Committee, which he is a member of, may have to meet sooner than the October date they had planned.
He also shed light on the extent of the work league secretary Rod Houston and his assistant Graham Wilson had done to ensure clubs could prepare themselves for a return to training and matches. He said: “It’s totally unfeasible (without crowds) – no Highland League would survive if they did that. If we had got that money from James Anderson, that SPFL clubs got, we may have been able to do something.
“When we first went into lockdown, we said we would not start the league unless crowds were allowed back into the ground. That was reiterated at the last LMC meeting and that’s still the case. I’m deflated because Rod Houston and Graham Wilson have done so much work behind the scenes and it could be all for nothing.
“I can’t thank those two guys enough.”
Houston and Wilson have prepared extensive documentation for each club to outline protocols to put in place at their grounds, with clubs appointing a Covid officer responsible for their implementation.