Wait goes on for Scottish lower league clubs

Hopes that lower league football clubs would soon be given a firm date to resume their seasons have been dashed.

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 3:02 pm
Scotland's lower league sides will remain on the sidelines.

The Scottish FA had been expected to give an update on Wednesday regarding a potential pathway for sides outwith the nation’s top two tiers to kick-off their competitive campaigns once more in the coming weeks.

Scotland's League One and Two clubs have put on a united front and recently presented a blueprint to the SFA detailing how they believed football at that level could get back underway.

This included improved testing regimes.

There was a suggestion that Wednesday’s announcement would confirm an early March start date for leagues one and two with training starting next week.

But the update arrived a day early and confirmed only that, given the current Covid-19 restrictions still in place across the country, a firm return date could not be committed to, leaving clubs again in a state of limbo.

The full statement reads: “In recent weeks, the Scottish FA has engaged extensively with clubs and leagues affected by the suspension of professional football across the men’s and women’s game to discuss tailored return to playing plans for implementation when it is considered safe and appropriate to resume.

“We have also remained in regular dialogue with Scottish Government to ensure their input into and ultimately approval of those proposed plans.

“Regrettably, the government has today confirmed that – in cognisance of the current restrictions in place across the country – they cannot currently commit to return dates for those affected leagues in the coming weeks.

“We will continue to speak with all parties in the meantime and will provide a further update by 1 March. This date should not be seen as a proposed restart date, however it should help provide some clarity to affected clubs to aid their planning over the short term.

“Whilst this is disappointing news, Scottish football will continue to play its part in assisting the Scottish Government’s efforts to reduce the prevalence of Covid-19 across the country.”

The clubs below the Championship have now been out of action since January.