Hopes that league seasons can be finished are diminishing

While Scotland’s League One and Two sides, plus those in the Women’s Premier, are celebrating their imminent return to the pitch, that positive news has been tempered in north east Fife.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 1:51 pm
Hopes are starting to fade for East of Scotland League sides like Newburgh that the season will resume. Pic by Graham Strachan

An immediate return for tiers three and four and the elite division of the women’s game was granted this week following its postponement on January 12.

Those leagues have been campaigning for some time now to be allowed to compete again, with their resumption granted on the promise of improved testing and safety protocols.

But, further down the pyramid, there is still no news of a return for the nation’s junior and East of Scotland League clubs.

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At amateur level, clubs in Fife have taken matters into their own hands and called the season null and void on Tuesday.

Instead, those sides will compete for a League Cup in late spring, should circumstances allow.

Something similar may yet be proposed by clubs in the East of Scotland and junior leagues with the chances of their seasons now being completed looking increasingly slim.

A spokesman for Newburgh AFC told the Fife Herald that the club continues to take on board the reasons why football at that level hasn’t yet had the green light to kick-off again.

He said: "We are disappointed that there does not appear to be a resumption of football at present but fully understand that we have to be patient and wait for normality to return.

"The previous start to the season was not ideal with no fans and facilities shut down, so we would prefer to get back to a fully functioning fixture list as opposed to a semi return that doesn’t allow us to use facilities and allow fans in.

“We will, however, be guided by the league and governing bodies as to when and how we return.”

As well as the three leagues, the Scottish Cup has also been given approval to resume, with all clubs who remain in the competition given permission to participate subject to compliance with PCR testing requirements.

Revised Scottish Cup fixture dates will be announced soon.

The SPFL and SWF will also update on the respective league fixture schedules in due course.