Peterhead manager Jim McInally admits he doesn’t see a happy ending for the lower leagues this season whatever happens next.
Football below the Championship remains in cold storage until at least March 1 after hopes of being given the greenlight to resume were dashed this week.
League One and Two clubs had offered conduct weekly Covid-19 testing to return, but it still wasn’t enough.
It now looks impossible to complete the 27-game campaigns without an extension to the season. Even if the season was reduced to 18 fixtures, an extension could be required, which would have implications for end of season play-offs.
As a result, the lower league seasons could end up being declared null and void.
McInally believes the lower leagues were sacrificed by the SFA, when they were first suspended on January 11, to keep the Premiership and Championship going following Celtic’s ill-fated trip to Dubai.
The Hoops’ warm weather training camp last month, when the country was in lockdown, led to scrutiny from the Scottish Government and 13 players as well as manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy having to isolate following Christopher Jullien’s positive test on their return.
McInally, Scotland’s longest-serving manager, said: “I don’t know what is best, I don’t see any happy ending whatever scenario you look at.
“The only happy ending is going to be for the Premiership and Championship and that seems to be all that matters to the SFA.
“The bottom line is that we were served up by the SFA because of the Celtic carry on.
“That’s the bottom line, will anybody ever admit it? I don’t think so. That’s all part of the tittle-tattle that’s going on just now.
“But I’m not scared to say that’s why we were offered up because of that.
“For Leagues One and Two, the way ahead is nothing but arguments, disagreements, voting and all the stuff that could have been avoided if 27 games could be played.”
For McInally, the season not finishing is the worst case scenario, but he believes the SFA are responsible for the current situation after opting to suspend lower league football last month.
The Blue Toon boss added: “We’ve got to do what’s right for our clubs, but the last scenario and the worst scenario is that the season doesn’t finish.
“I don’t want the players not being able to train and play, but you get so fed up with the politics and it just sickens you.
“The SFA have dug themselves into a massive hole and there’s no point in blaming the Scottish Government for a mess they have made by stopping us in the first place.”
After the January 11 suspension, League One and Two clubs came together to form a working group to try to plot a return to action.
However, their return to playing proposal of resuming training on February 15 and matches on March 2 was rejected and McInally says the working group now need to hold the SFA to account.
He said: “I thought it was a waste of time from the start and the actions this week just confirm that for me, they’ve been treated with contempt.
“They need to ask the right questions and stop pussyfooting about.
“Stop talking behind people’s backs and having conspiracy theories – just get things out in the open and challenge the SFA for what they’ve done.”
Meanwhile, Peterhead’s goalkeeper Josh Rae’s emergency loan to Championship side Queen of the South is set to continue.
The 20-year-old has been with the Doonhamers for the last fortnight.
McInally said: “Josh is enjoying it, so that’s good – it means at least that’s one player that’s able to train and be involved in matches.”