Options on the table for East of Scotland League resumption

The secretary of the East of Scotland League says there are options available which could see the season played out.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 11:40 am
There are options on the table for the East of Scotland to return, but the league secretary concedes added testing measures may prove too costly. Blair Smith

There are currently three suggestions on the table, says David Baxter, which detail possible ways of concluding the season.

However, with no pathway back for the EoS League currently laid out, and with the league still suspended, time is ticking.

"Obviously everything is up in the air because, until we know when we can start, we can’t do anything,” said the league secretary.

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"Everybody is in the hands of the government at the moment.

"Roughly every fortnight the SFA are meeting with leagues to update them as to what’s happening.

"But until there’s some information from the government it’s impossible for anybody to plan.”

Clubs in League One, Two and the Women’s Premier were this week given the green light to start again and those divisions are likely to return to the pitch towards the end of March with training already started at some clubs.

But that permission was granted on the promise of improved testing and safety measures being put in place.

The cost of introducing these same measures, particularly the PCR testing, remains out of reach for EoS League clubs, conceded Mr Baxter.

"The SPFL 1 and 2 have only just been given the go ahead and they’ve been waiting for quite some time for that,” he added.

"So we basically have to wait.

"The agreement at the moment is that the leagues that are restarting are restarting because they are doing PCR testing.

"And PCR testing is basically cost prohibitive for clubs at this level.

"So for long as it remains PCR testing only, then it is financially impossible to start.”

Teams within the EoS League structure had barely played a dozen games of the current season before it was suspended in January.

Some have played as few as eight.

It’s now highly unlikely that the campaign can be completed as it was originally structured but there may be an option of reducing the amount of games scheduled.

The Kingdom’s amateur clubs this week declared their seasons as null and void.