Peterhead boss Jim McInally has hit out at how players are being treated as a result restrictions introduced as part of football’s return.
Rules introduced by the SFA and SPFL’s Joint Response Group for the return of football mean players and staff have to be socially-distanced within dressing rooms.
In many cases at pre-season friendlies this has resulted in one, or both teams, having to change outside due to a lack of space within dressing rooms, something that may continue with lower league clubs starting their seasons this week.
In instances where clubs have been able to use dressing rooms they have been told showering is only allowed if it’s one player at time and that the shower area needs to be deep cleaned between each player using it.
On Saturday, Peterhead faced Junior side Dundee North End in a friendly in torrential rain.
The current regulations meant the Blue Toon had no access to an indoor area at Fairmuir Street with players having to get changed outside and then travel home.
With the weather likely to deteriorate in the coming months, McInally believes something needs to be done.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager said: “What really angered me was that on Saturday it was an absolutely horrid day and the people who made up the rules about not being able to shower after games were probably sitting in a nice warm house or boardroom somewhere.
“While players across the country got soaked and couldn’t even get a shower after the game.
“I’d like some medical person to tell me how that is going to keep players healthy.
“When it comes to weather Saturday is the tip of the iceberg.
“It could have been colder and windier, but it was torrential rain and the players were drenched by the end of the warm-up and then play for 90 minutes.
“They didn’t have a changing room to go back into. It’s just disgusting and makes me so angry.
“I’d like a medical person to explain to me how it’s OK for players to get changed out in the cold and not even get a shower and then go home.”
McInally says the players’ union – PFA Scotland – should get involved and try to secure better conditions for their members.
He added: “If the PFA can’t get involved in this, stick up for players and actually get them better conditions then they’re not doing much that’s for sure.
“Of all the protocols that we need to follow there’s no doubt the protocol around not being able to use showers and changing facilities is the worst.
“If my job was to look after footballers then I would be trying to have meetings with the Joint Response Group to get that changed because it’s not on.
“It’s unfair to ask guys to work in those conditions and not even allow them to have a wash afterwards. What other business would let that happen?
“It’s not right and Saturday is probably as bad as you’ll get in terms of rain.”
Meanwhile, Peterhead’s players and staff will be tested for Covid-19 tonight ahead of their League Cup tie with Dundee United on Saturday.
United have a testing machine, and McInally said: “We just thought it was the best way to go really to get tested by the team we’re playing against. This is the ideal arrangement for us really.”