Secretary Rod Houston says the Highland League recognise the risk that it may be unable to play the 2020-21 season.
A 16-game league campaign has been pushed back from starting on October 17 until November 28 at the earliest while schedules for Highland League Cup, Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup, Aberdeenshire Shield and North of Scotland Cup remain up in the air.
The semi-finals of last season’s League Cup – Brora Rangers v Buckie Thistle and Formartine United v Rothes – will be played behind closed doors next weekend with the final scheduled for October 24 as the Highland League trials the viability of live streaming games online.
Houston is realistic that unless there are changes to coronavirus restrictions allowing supporters into grounds and surrounding player welfare issues such as access to dressing rooms and shower facilities it may be difficult for the new campaign to begin.
He said: “I have to recognise the risk, but I’m not at the stage yet of fully assessing that risk because we have enough options that we can utilise at this moment.
“If the bad numbers continue throughout the winter and the league championship can’t be played one possible scenario may be that in the spring we could play a Highland League Cup tournament, a North of Scotland Cup tournament and have Aberdeenshire Cup and Aberdeenshire Shield tournaments.
“That may allow clubs to get spectators back and get back to some football and some normality and getting sorted so that when the pre-season for season 2021-22 comes around everyone would be prepared following a long lay-off.
“That kind of thinking is there, but we’re not at that stage yet and we’re not at the stage yet to quantify the risk.
“We will go through October and see how things progress before taking stock in early November because we don’t know what the situation will be come November 28.
“If you rewind four weeks everyone was planning for October 17 so it’s a very fluid situation.
“My job is to make sure we have covered all the options, the clubs are aware of all the options and have the best information they can on which to base their decisions.”
When it comes to what needs to change to make it feasible for the Highland League campaign to kick-off Houston is clear.
He added: “Two things will need to happen. The public health situation will need to improve. Over the last few weeks watching the news we were thinking the numbers were going in the wrong direction.
“The way the numbers have gone it hasn’t given government any encouragement to loosen things up for football, even at our level.
“We need those things to start changing so that the issues surrounding player welfare can be at a level that is manageable and so that fans can be let into grounds and whether that is sufficient to get the season started will ultimately be a judgement call for the clubs.”