Peterhead chairman Rodger Morrison believes Scotland’s part-time clubs are in a stronger position to survive the coronavirus crisis than full-time sides.
The game has been severely impacted by Covid-19 with football shut-down in mid-March and the 2019-20 season declared over after it became clear the campaign wouldn’t be able to be finished.
The Premiership are hoping to get next term started behind closed doors on August 1.
But it may be longer before lower-league clubs can restart with the income from fans coming through the turnstiles essential – although investment of £2.5 million from Edinburgh-based James Anderson plus another £625,000 from gift aid means all 42 SPFL clubs will be able to apply for a grant of £50,000 to support themselves.
Since coronavirus struck many have warned of grim times ahead for lower-league outfits. But Blue Toon chief Morrison reckons part-time clubs like his may be better placed to survive than Premiership and Championship ones.
He said: “I’ve been around the leagues over the last 40 years and there are a lot of savvy people running football clubs in Scotland.
“There are no mugs going about because it’s the hardest game to be in.
“Personally I don’t see there being any failures at the lower level, but I can see problems at full-time level especially if clubs are having to play behind closed doors – or if they’re not playing and have a squad signed up that need paid and the furlough will come down.
“But I do think without a doubt lower-league clubs will survive – we’ll do everything in the book to get by.”
Morrison believes many of Scotland’s elite clubs look down on those in the lower divisions.
Recent comments about lower-league football from former Scotland boss Gordon Strachan riled Morrison, while Celtic and Rangers have previously tried to get their colt teams into the SPFL and the Gers have suggested it again for next season.
The Balmoor supremo added: “I’ve been long enough in the game to know the way things work.
“It’s OK having to look after the Premiership because of the new Sky deal, but it’s like big business and little business.
“Little business employs far more people than big business and big business will wait 180 days to pay you because they can get away with it and big business looks down on little business.
“Football is no different. Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and all the big clubs do look down on the smaller clubs and that’s just life.
“There have been figures about the people the lower divisions employ compared to higher divisions and it’s three to one.
“If our football isn’t important or isn’t up to standard then why were Rangers and Celtic pushing for colts team coming into League Two? That’s because they feel playing us would have been to great benefit for them.
“It’s not just about grooming talent – take Rory McAllister, he was making more playing for us and having a full-time job than he would have playing for St Mirren.
“We give players a chance to play at a good level and enjoy their football. Simon Ferry is a great player who has played full-time, but he loves it at Peterhead.
“Where did Willie Miller start his career? Peterhead. If clubs like us aren’t around, where do these players go?”