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welshbairn

2020/21 Highland League Fixtures

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Bit previous and maybe over optimistic, but seeing as Rod Houston's on the case thought it worth sticking a thread up.

Quote

Highland League secretary Rod Houston hopes they can complete next season in some form.

The 2019-20 campaign was declared over in March after the coronavirus pandemic caused football to be shutdown.

With behind-closed-door games – something that those at the top level are planning for – not a financially viable option in the Highland League, the hope is they will be able to begin next season in front of fans in the months ahead.

There have been suggestions it may be next year before fans are allowed into grounds again, which also led to talk of leagues being put into abeyance next season because starting in 2021 may not allow enough time to complete them.

This season’s Highland League Cup is also still awaiting completion with the league committed to playing the semi-finals between Brora Rangers and Buckie Thistle and Formartine United and Rothes, then the final, once football resumes.

Houston said: “We hope next season isn’t written off altogether because we’d like to see some football in 2020-21.

“But we’re going to be at the behest of a number of factors. There comes a point in time where there are only so many fixture dates you have available.

“That’s something we’re going to have to take into account over the next wee while, but we have an idea.

“I have modelled all sorts of fixture calendars, so that once we have a clearer sense of when we might be able to start, we’ll have an idea of what we can do.

“What we want to do is have competitions that can be complete in whatever time we’ve got for the 2020-21 season.

“Ultimately, however, if they say there is to be no football then there will be no football and let’s not forget there are far more serious things than football just now.


“But we are planning for various types of 2020-21 season and we’ll have to see what the lie of the land is and once we know the lie of the land we can pull all our members into a general meeting and agree a way forward.”

Houston says games behind closed doors isn’t something the Highland League are considering and added: “The overwhelming view is that behind closed doors isn’t really an option for us for a whole shedload of reasons.

“We’re not even looking at that as a possibility.

“What we want is competition that is meaningful and because our clubs depend so heavily on matchday income, we have got to make sure we get good matchdays organised and that’s quite a challenge.”

Football can only restart at all levels when it’s safe to do so and Houston is keen to protect all those involved in the Highland League.

He said: “We’ll be guided as we have been up to his point by the SFA medical committee.

“How we act has to be reactive, this is not something where we’re going to be able to jump the gun.

“As much as we all love the Highland League and it’s a big part of our lives, we have to remember that for the players playing in the league isn’t their primary source of income.

“So if anything was to happen to any of them as a result of playing in the Highland League which meant they weren’t able to do their regular work, I would feel we had failed them.”

Secretary Rod Houston has hope there will be Highland League action next term

@RH33 :)

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22 minutes ago, Densky said:

Not that many will notice this league playing or not but they wont be playing anytime this calendar year. 

I see you've got a bit of a theme going. Bit gloomy m8, you should be getting excited about the Aberdeenshire and Tayside Scottish Junior Cup starting up in the Autumn.

17 minutes ago, Densky said:

The small crowds in the east wont be returning anytime this year thats for sure. 

 

18 minutes ago, Densky said:

Scottish cup wont be happening next season for non league clubs.  The licensing shambles will become unbearable post pandemic limiting things even more for those looking to get one. 

 

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He’s got more models than a Vouge magazine at the moment!

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I wonder if one of his ideas - if there aren't enough fixture dates - is splitting into 2 conferences?

Edited by Jacksgranda
grandma

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30 minutes ago, Jacksgranda said:

I wonder if one of his ideas - if there aren't enough fixture dates - splitting into 2 conferences?

Sounds a possibility, but don't give him ideas! @RH33 might pass it on and it would horrible if not strictly temporary, and some of these pyramid fanatics have been pushing it.

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1 hour ago, Jacksgranda said:

I wonder if one of his ideas - if there aren't enough fixture dates - splitting into 2 conferences?

 

31 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

Sounds a possibility, but don't give him ideas! @RH33 might pass it on and it would horrible if not strictly temporary, and some of these pyramid fanatics have been pushing it.

Jacksgranda may not realise that It’s my dad and I’m not a highland league fanatic. I’ll suggest it to him incase he needs another model!

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1 hour ago, Jacksgranda said:

I wonder if one of his ideas - if there aren't enough fixture dates - splitting into 2 conferences?

He’s not.

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2 minutes ago, RH33 said:

 

Jacksgranda may not realise that It’s my dad and I’m not a highland league fanatic. I’ll suggest it to him incase he needs another model!

Aye, knew it was your dad from a previous post of yours a while back. No fee required, just let him know who suggested it...

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15 minutes ago, RH33 said:

 

Jacksgranda may not realise that It’s my dad and I’m not a highland league fanatic. I’ll suggest it to him incase he needs another model!

Shut it you!

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On 28/05/2020 at 12:41, welshbairn said:

I see you've got a bit of a theme going. Bit gloomy m8, you should be getting excited about the Aberdeenshire and Tayside Scottish Junior Cup starting up in the Autumn.

 

 

Finding it difficult to dispute his rather gloomy tone.

When you see the 'Grassroots' route back to football (Version 1) that's just been published by the SFA, they're certainly not hearing up for football in the near nor medium future. (But pushing for the Premier League to start 1st August at the same time)

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There is absolutely nothing at all in that document to suggest that "they're not gearing up for football". They've confirmed that all football activity is suspended by the government until 10th June, and that once that is lifted additional measures will need to be put into place for it to restart.

They're allowing registration of leagues, teams players and coaches, which suggests they do envisage these starting at some point. Almost every other answer comes down to "you can't do this before the 10th June, we'll update you at that point".

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Lockdown restructions have to by law be reviewed a minimum of once every 3 weeks, so next compulsory review is 18th June, with a hope of moving in to Phase 2 at that point, assuming that all has gone well. There is scope to move earlier if things have been going well, but as ScotGov has so far been very cautious, would expect that they'll waiy until the 18th, at least. If professional sport - how far down the league structure will they define as 'professional' is an interesting one? - can return in some way then, & other 'playground & sports courts' can re-open, then there would be an argument for permitting at least non-contact & fitness training at that point. 

In phase 3, potentially another 3 weeks on at 10th July, sees the re-opening of inside spaces like gyms etc, & people able to return to holiday accommodation, along with live events with restricted numbers, then logic would seem to follow that outdoor training would be able to re re-started, although likely still with distancing restrictions.

And phase 4, potentially another 3 weeks on at 31st July, would seem to enable getting back to football.

Just my thought process, as following this pretty closely being a business owner in the sport & leisure sector.

"Phase 2: Reopening of playgrounds and sports courts. Resumption of professional sport in line with public health advice.
Phase 3: Museums, galleries, libraries, cinemas open, subject to physical distancing and hygiene measures. Gyms open subject to physical distancing and hygiene measures. Relaxation of restrictions on accommodation providers. Live events permitted with restricted numbers and physical distancing restrictions.
Phase 4: Further relaxation of restrictions on live events in line with public health advice" ..... taken from ScotGov 'roadmap' p.42, Sport, Culture & Leisure

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On 30/05/2020 at 10:43, Highland ITFC said:

Lockdown restructions have to by law be reviewed a minimum of once every 3 weeks, so next compulsory review is 18th June, with a hope of moving in to Phase 2 at that point, assuming that all has gone well. There is scope to move earlier if things have been going well, but as ScotGov has so far been very cautious, would expect that they'll waiy until the 18th, at least. If professional sport - how far down the league structure will they define as 'professional' is an interesting one? - can return in some way then, & other 'playground & sports courts' can re-open, then there would be an argument for permitting at least non-contact & fitness training at that point. 

In phase 3, potentially another 3 weeks on at 10th July, sees the re-opening of inside spaces like gyms etc, & people able to return to holiday accommodation, along with live events with restricted numbers, then logic would seem to follow that outdoor training would be able to re re-started, although likely still with distancing restrictions.

And phase 4, potentially another 3 weeks on at 31st July, would seem to enable getting back to football.

Just my thought process, as following this pretty closely being a business owner in the sport & leisure sector.

"Phase 2: Reopening of playgrounds and sports courts. Resumption of professional sport in line with public health advice.
Phase 3: Museums, galleries, libraries, cinemas open, subject to physical distancing and hygiene measures. Gyms open subject to physical distancing and hygiene measures. Relaxation of restrictions on accommodation providers. Live events permitted with restricted numbers and physical distancing restrictions.
Phase 4: Further relaxation of restrictions on live events in line with public health advice" ..... taken from ScotGov 'roadmap' p.42, Sport, Culture & Leisure

Phase 4, the Scotland Government has said themselves, is expected to be many months away. I would love to think you're right, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

As you say, how far down the leagues they go with 'professional' is interesting. The SFA will have a hand in it, and from the past few months' experience they don't seem overly interested in the lower reaches of football

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On 29/05/2020 at 17:06, craigkillie said:

They're allowing registration of leagues, teams players and coaches

Well thank f**k for that

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Getting towards crunch time. Fixtures for the upcoming season in the HFL would ordinarily been released by now.

Personally I reckon it'll be the Premier League (with 14 teams) that will go ahead. Every other league will be cancelled

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The fixtures in various forms are ready to be released when the situation allows. Plans and meetings have happened. It’s not like league management are sitting waiting then try and figure it out on hoof! 
 

 

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5 hours ago, RH33 said:

The fixtures in various forms are ready to be released when the situation allows. Plans and meetings have happened. It’s not like league management are sitting waiting then try and figure it out on hoof! 
 

 

Pointless doing anything more at the moment. Personally I don't think the League will go ahead at all until we're back close to normality. As your Dad more or less says, if it's not safe for people to watch it's not safe for the players and their families. I'm optimistic that it will be before too long though.

Edited by welshbairn

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Wonder whether any SHFL clubs will be on the phone to County enquiring about the cost of tests - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52947494 - as if not prohibitive, then could be a way for clubs to be proactive in seeking to be able to get squads back together to at least recommence training. Would have to unfurlough them though, so that would of course be another consideration.

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18 minutes ago, Highland ITFC said:

Wonder whether any SHFL clubs will be on the phone to County enquiring about the cost of tests - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52947494 - as if not prohibitive, then could be a way for clubs to be proactive in seeking to be able to get squads back together to at least recommence training. Would have to unfurlough them though, so that would of course be another consideration.

Doubt if many HL players get paid enough for it to be worth furloughing them, not at Clach anyway. Looks interesting depending on how much it costs. Uncle Roy specifically says professional players, so it might be pricey.

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