Secretary Rod Houston admits the Highland League is facing “the greatest existential threat” in its history.
The Highland League is set for a crunch talks on Monday when clubs will vote on whether to delay the start of the 2020-21 season.
A 16-game campaign is due to begin on October 17, but a league management committee meeting due to take place next month has been brought forward to Monday following the Scottish Government’s decision to pause the return of spectators indefinitely.
The league released the opening three rounds of fixtures for the new season last weekend on the basis that some fans would be allowed through the turnstiles.
Houston admits he is feeling “pessimistic” about the season getting under way as planned, but stressed “all options will be on the table” at Monday’s meeting.
He said: “The league management committee is meeting on Monday night to take stock following recent government announcements over the past week.
“One of the things we have to consider is that football is not the principal employment of the players in the Highland League.
“If they were to test positive while at their football club, what impact would that have on their main employers?
“How are their main employers going to feel about them going to football in those circumstances?
“It is quite a complex situation that we are dealing with.”
Houston admits a prolonged period without the ability to raise revenue will be a major challenge for Highland League clubs.
He added: “I have been the Highland League secretary for only four years, but involved in the Highland League one way or other for many years before that.
“This is a huge existential challenge to our league.
“The league has had its own internal challenges over the years but this is the greatest existential threat to the league.
“We have 17 members in the Highland League just now and, if we still have 17 members in a year’s time, then I feel we will have overcome a huge challenge.
“It is as serious as that.
“There is a shared purpose between the clubs to work together through this.
“There are different opinions about how you achieve that shared purpose, but we all know this is deadly serious, as it is for the world at large.”
The Scottish FA and SPFL’s joint response group is holding discussions with the Scottish Government over fears Scottish clubs are facing the possibility of a whole season without gate income. The JRG have described the scenario as “catastrophic” for the game.
Houston added: “Based on the 16-match league programme planned, each club is going to need around £30,000 in income.
“Unless we can find a sugar daddy, we see that as almost unsustainable.”