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Zoom meeting coming up on Tuesday which will decide if the season starts on 24th October, at some later date over the winter, or if we wait until 21/22.
It won't be decided at the meeting, the clubs will vote after the meeting by email after the delegates feed Tuesday night's discussions to their committees.
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I just cannot see how it will start without fans. Clubs can not continue without fans.
The clubs in general are trying to do everything within the restrictions, doing the right things but if one player goes tot eh shops, chats to someone then they can catch it, they go back to training then bang, the whole squad have to self isolate.  Most probably it wont even the the clubs fault

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8 minutes ago, peasy23 said:

Zoom meeting coming up on Tuesday which will decide if the season starts on 24th October, at some later date over the winter, or if we wait until 21/22.

3 options

1, Go ahead at the end of the month with no fans.

2, Hold off till January and play each other once. Awkward but fans may be allowed in by then.

3, Scrap the season and start again next year hopefully with fans allowed in.

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Lets say 34 + teams are daft enough vote to scrap the season, do any of the other 33 get the option to make there own leagues and play football?

If vote was 25 for go ahead, 20 for hold off,15 for scrap is it a win for go ahead?

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2 hours ago, Bestsinceslicebread said:

I just cannot see how it will start without fans. Clubs can not continue without fans.
The clubs in general are trying to do everything within the restrictions, doing the right things but if one player goes tot eh shops, chats to someone then they can catch it, they go back to training then bang, the whole squad have to self isolate.  Most probably it wont even the the clubs fault

Too many ifs and buts. See that with games off this weekend with committee testing positive 

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16 minutes ago, cmontheloknow said:

With players, officials and committees, you could have upwards of 60 different workplaces converging for a few hours. The season with or without fans is going to be carnage. Even the full-timers cannot get it right.

Although this is correct, there is also an argument to say that mothballing the season will mean the end of some players careers either due to age or physical condition. In this case, if the players want to play for free and are willing to put up with the rules imposed, then that should be encouraged. 

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7 minutes ago, jimbaxters said:

Although this is correct, there is also an argument to say that mothballing the season will mean the end of some players careers either due to age or physical condition. In this case, if the players want to play for free and are willing to put up with the rules imposed, then that should be encouraged. 

I suppose in interim there is nothing to stop those players going amateur if SFA granted some sort of one off dispensation that didn't annul current contracts and allowed them to play SAFA. One issue is clubs being able to afford to play / pay them without fans, another the interruptions due to break outs of covid.  The SAFA are getting underway and if they can do it and are happy to do it with no access to changing rooms then good on them - but clubs like our own cannot magic up the £££ for a six figure wage bill from goodwill.

If the season is a no go there are a few options that I can see:

1. clubs continue to play friendlies with players getting expenses only ideally

2. clubs can free players on loan in some way shape or form to go SAFA for the timebeing

3. clubs shut down completely until a future date

The current path of kicking off in 3 / 4 weeks time seems insanity for any semi pro outfit - without subsidy and I am not seeing it coming.

Not sure we can ask the contracted professionals to play for free for competitive games - as they're due minimum wage.

Edited by cmontheloknow
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2 minutes ago, cmontheloknow said:

I suppose in interim there is nothing to stop those players going amateur if SFA granted some sort of one off dispensation that didn't annul current contracts and allowed them to play SAFA. One issue is clubs being able to afford to play them without fans, another the interruptions due to break outs of covid.  The SAFA are getting underway and if they can do it and are happy to do it with no access to changing rooms then good on them - but clubs like our own cannot magic up the £££ for a six figure wage bill from goodwill.

If the season is a no go there are a few options that I can see:

1. clubs continue to play friendlies with players getting expenses only ideally

2. clubs can free players on loan in some way shape or form to go SAFA for the timebeing

3. clubs shut down completely until a future date

The current path of kicking off in 3 / 4 weeks time seems insanity for any semi pro outfit - without subsidy and I am not seeing it coming.

4. clubs set up gofund me with regular fans making regular donations

Maybe a bit too radical for smaller clubs with aging fanbase but it does have potential, especially if there is a committee member who can film the games either live or posting to the website after the match. It's not the same, but then nothing is just now.

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18 minutes ago, jimbaxters said:

4. clubs set up gofund me with regular fans making regular donations

Maybe a bit too radical for smaller clubs with aging fanbase but it does have potential, especially if there is a committee member who can film the games either live or posting to the website after the match. It's not the same, but then nothing is just now.

I guess that's a bit of an extention to the donateaticket concept and perhaps a way forward. I have paid my usual PFC membership which is more than all the gate money could be and I am sure most other members have done too. But getting the more casual fan to donate is the toughy.

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https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/local-sport/rutherglen-boss-clubs-danger-folding-22787877?fbclid=IwAR2u9oMhc6lavzKhhIyR1XGxUuzpBZ9BDPlb_6O-hdCGoM4ETHKXH-C6eoU

Good interview with Glens boss Willie Harvey.

Rutherglen boss: Clubs are in danger of folding and players may have to play for free

Glens gaffer Willie Harvey fears for the future as uncertainty surrounds various issues in the West of Scotland League.

Rutherglen Glencairn boss Willie Harvey has warned that clubs are in danger of folding if fans aren’t allowed back in this season – and players may have to play for free to keep them alive.

The West of Scotland League has been dealt a couple of setbacks in recent weeks with the Scottish Government further delaying the return of fans to stadiums to no earlier than October 5 and, following a survey of all league clubs, the kick-off for the new season will be October 24 at the earliest.

It leaves clubs like Glens in limbo and Harvey has also voiced concerns that players who find themselves unable to get a regular game for clubs might just walk away, which brings with it its own set of problems.

The Glens boss said: “It’s going to be one of those situations where the players decide what happens.

“These players are all contracted, and if the money’s not there to pay them then they don’t need to play, because we’re not honouring their contracts, which then become null and void.

“The big question is, if fans aren’t allowed in, you need to go back to the players and ask ‘are you willing to play without money’ for a certain period of time, until such times as things are available.

“It is difficult because players are going to be out of expenses, it’s going to cost them for travelling to and from games and during the week for training.

“I know for a fact that some guys actually give up their overtime because they train, so financially it becomes a big question of what they’re willing to do, and what they’re not willing to do.

“As a club, nobody will have a leg to stand on, and it will be the same for everyone so it’s not as if it’s ‘poor Glencairn’ or ‘poor Cambuslang’ – it’s poor everybody.”

He added: “I think it’s a certainty that some clubs might fold. You have other expenses – running costs, electricity, gas, water bills, and things like that, rates and upkeep, because you still need to keep the park in some sort of condition where you can play.

“You’re still going to have expenditure, and where is the money coming from for that?

“It’s a problem for the foreseeable future, it’s going to be one of those situations where everybody is going to be in the same boat, and we’re really, really worried – everybody’s worried

in the game. Not having fans in definitely affects us.”

Harvey reckons clubs might just decide not to play, and says league bosses then potentially have a difficult decision to make. He said: “It’s not the junior game anymore, it’s the West of Scotland League and you can’t be forced to play the games.

“At the end of the day if the West of Scotland League say we’re going to start, then several clubs say ‘we’ll not be in it’ what do they do the following season when crowds are back?

“Are you allowed back in it then, or do they turn around and say you need to go to the bottom division and start there?

“Can you imagine somebody like Pollok or Auchinleck being told they have to go back to the bottom to start again – never going to happen.

“The problem is, these are the kinds of clubs that will probably be able to start playing, because they will have some sort of finance there and might be able to pay some amount to players.

“We’ll be in a position where we just need to suck it and see.

“If they say the league is starting then it’s going to be down to the players and we’ll say ‘well, look, it’s up to you’.

“If you’re there to play you play, if you don’t then you don’t. But then you’ve got players who are not being picked, so it becomes a lot easier to walk away.

“All of a sudden your squad is depleted and you’ve not got enough players to cover every game.”

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8 hours ago, cmontheloknow said:

With players, officials and committees, you could have upwards of 60 different workplaces converging for a few hours. The season with or without fans is going to be carnage. Even the full-timers cannot get it right

Nights out in pubs could easily have been the main issue in that context. Please stop pretending that football is high risk and that every player testing positive at the moment  is doing so because of being at a training session or a game outdoors. The schools re-opening led to much bigger convergences of previously more socially isolated families in a much riskier indoor setting in a way that spreads things back to parents. Many people involved with football will have primary school aged children.

When schools, pubs etc were opened up some people who missed it the first time around because of the lockdown finally got their turn to be exposed to the virus. There are plenty of indications that the "second wave" is already peaking or will do so soon because the virus eventually runs out of people to infect as herd immunity builds. A postponed season could look very silly by January.

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22 hours ago, The Ilford Drummer said:

The 3 options is incorrect.

It's a yes or no for 24th

with delay or postpone the next question

Thats not right either

Its Yes or no for 24th to start with the present restrictions in force        No Fans  No changing rooms Temp checks and a host of other items

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Thats not right either
Its Yes or no for 24th to start with the present restrictions in force        No Fans  No changing rooms Temp checks and a host of other items
Question 1, should the season start on 24th October with the current restrictions that are in place? Clubs to vote yes or no.

Question 2, IF the majority of clubs answer no to question 1, should the league be paused for the time being and start if/when restrictions are eased, or should the season be cancelled and restart for season 21/22?
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34 minutes ago, peasy23 said:

Question 1, should the season start on 24th October with the current restrictions that are in place? Clubs to vote yes or no.

Question 2, IF the majority of clubs answer no to question 1, should the league be paused for the time being and start if/when restrictions are eased, or should the season be cancelled and restart for season 21/22?

The east are starting on the 10th and it appears lowland league is too. No reason fans cluldnt be let in at this level

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The east are starting on the 10th and it appears lowland league is too. No reason fans cluldnt be let in at this level
I wouldn't bet on it quite yet, fully expecting a "circuit break" to be announced tomorrow. How far that might go remains to be seen.

I do agree about the fans thing though.
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I watched the last 15mins of an amateur game yesterday from the car. Conditions were horrendous on a grass park that was very wet and the players were covered in muck. At the end one side had a team talk, and all reasonably distanced, which I thought was very brave in the rain. The other team’s players all got they’re bags from under a hap that they’d used to cover them then went straight to their cars. All we’re putting towels on the seats and some tough guys took shirts off and put tracksuit top on outside their car. I shouted across the car park to one of them did he enjoy that and he replied it’s great to be playing I said what about no showers or changing and he said ‘That’s what we need to do. I have do things every day at my work for Covid that I don’t like because I need to do them, I doing this at the football because I want to’ We shouldn’t be stopping guys playing football if they want to

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54408588

Covid & Scottish football: Professor Jason Leitch answers key questions

The opening two months of the Scottish football season have been riven with confusion, dismay, and apparent inconsistencies as the game wrestles with life in the time of Covid-19.

In an attempt to bring some sort of clarity, BBC Scotland spoke to national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch to try and debunk some mistruths, clarify grey areas, and challenge some of those anomalies...

Are you content the football protocols are working?

Plans put in place to enable football to return in June have, for the most part, worked. Six of the 12 Scottish Premiership clubs have had players or staff self-isolate but widespread outbreaks had been avoided until six positive tests were returned by Kilmarnock last week.

"I think the sector has done a great job. There have been positive cases in elite football - as there have been in other sectors - because this is a cunning virus. It finds its way in.

"The single most important tool we have for now is human behaviour so keeping yourself apart from other households is the biggest thing you can do. That's whether you're Kilmarnock's goalkeeper, St Mirren's centre-half or a waitress in a pub.

"Sport in the main have done that really well. Everything I've seen is exemplary."

Why were Kilmarnock's squad told to self-isolate?

The entire Kilmarnock squad is self-isolating for 14 days after six positive tests in the past week and the club could face sanctions if they are found to have breached Covid protocols.

But Aberdeen and St Mirren did not have to do likewise despite returning more than one positive test. What is the difference?

"Kilmarnock is a workplace outbreak. The other high-profile ones in football were individuals - flew to Spain, went to hospitality and weren't distanced.

"If it was a call centre, test and protect go in and get them to talk us through their day, and that happens with every health board. At a football club we'd ask thing like where they sat in the dressing room, on the bus, where they ate.

"After that, the incident management team make a judgement based on the evidence about the risk to others and on this occasion they decided it was significant enough to ask them to self-isolate.

"Why are Kilmarnock self-isolating but St Mirren didn't have to? St Mirren could evidence that they'd contained it, but it is also a timing thing. With any positive test, people are asked to detail their movements in the 48 hours before they first started to notice symptoms.

"If they were not mixing with the squad in that time, the risk of transmission is less."

Does not having testing in lower leagues worry you?

SPFL sides in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 will begin their seasons this week in the League Cup group stages. As it stands, those teams need only test for Covid-19 in the days before playing Premiership opposition.

"There is risk and we hope clubs will take that very seriously. We've brought back contact sports outside for adults - five-a-side football, for example - and we've not seen big outbreaks there so I'm confident if we do it right, we can do it safely, but it won't be risk free."

If lower-league players don't have to test, why do Premiership ones?

Premiership teams have been testing either once or twice a week since returning to training in June. But if lower-league players do not have to take tests, do their top-flight equivalents need to continue doing so?

"There is a logical argument to say not to bother but we think testing adds another layer of protection and the Joint Response Group agree, although I understand there are economic considerations and we shouldn't forget those.

"But that extra layer at the elite end is the right thing to do, I think, as long as we can do it as it gives them more chance of completing their seasons because you can isolate people out as you need to. And it's better to know that than not, and the virus spread unnoticed."

Lower-league players have to arrive and leave in their kit. Why is that?

The current protocol state that players outside the top flight cannot shower after training or matches and - like the rest of the population - should not share cars. Some have noted that spending several hours in wet clothes while driving long-distances at night can also be perilous to a player's health...

"If everyone had their own individual shower and it was cleaned between each use, there's pretty much no risk. But the challenge is that when you go down the leagues, the facilities aren't quite as good sometimes. It's about trying to mitigate risk as always.

"We think it's probably about right that we ask kids to arrive in their gear and go home and shower and it's about right that Premiership players can shower given the set-ups at those clubs. But somewhere in the middle is a sweet spot.

"It goes to the question everybody asks... why can I do this, but not that? The fundamental answer is population health. The risk to you of doing something might be minimal to you, but the more people do it, you add risk on top of risk on top of risk.

"That's a real communication challenge for us around football stadiums v pubs or soft plays v cinemas."

Okay, so why are cinemas open when football stadiums are not?

Two successful test events in September, with 300 fans at Premiership matches in Aberdeen and Dingwall, have yet to be repeated, with a pause put on any further games by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Meanwhile, cinemas are open to a limited number of customers.

All of these decisions are based on four 'harms' - the harm caused by Covid directly; the harm caused to other parts of the health service as a result; the social harm on things such as people's mental health; and the economic harm. The chief advisors for each give that advice to the First Minister and the cabinet and they make the decisions.

"With all this stuff, there's not a straightforward answer. Cinemas are very small numbers, very distanced, there's not a public transport, or policing problem, there's not people going to pubs before and after. But it's not an exact science. You can't say cinemas are safer than football stadiums.

"As you open things, there will be anomalies. You can rationalise them but fundamentally it's about the fact you can't have everything.

"But at some level you have to make choices. If the bucket of risk if full, you can't put more in it. If the bucket of risk is half empty, you can think 'right, what is the next thing to do?'. Is it soft play for kids? Is it nightclubs for students? You can't put both in the bucket at the same time."

But why is football behind other things is getting into that bucket?

Speaking to BBC Scotland on Saturday, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said that "it often feels football does not get a fair rub of the green" and pointed to indoor venues such as the Royal Albert Hall being allowed to admit 57% of capacity. He added: "Anybody who tells me that is not a political choice, I'm sorry I don't accept that."

"My argument would be that football got into the bucket pretty early on. What it didn't get was crowds.

"But let's be very clear, football got very special privileges to go back before hosts of other sectors. Most people are still working from home as default. Football is open, people are at work, so they got in the bucket but they didn't get everything they wanted and are pushing for now.

"I completely get the angst about crowds and people saying they've gone to Alloa every second week for their whole life and there's no risk because they'll walk there and socially distance. It really hurts me to not allow that but we have to minimise the risk."

Could we see fans back at smaller clubs first?

The test events were considered a success. People arrived, got to their seats, were distanced, left safely and were dispersed from the stadium. Professor Leitch says he looks forward to seeing further pilots, and hints that talks had taken place about having small numbers of crowds at lower-league games.

"I'm very mindful of the smaller clubs who could put together pretty strong mitigation to have small, distanced, local crowds and keep the vulnerable away. That will come back and I am an advocate for that but it's about timing.

"We haven't had that discussion fully yet with the SPFL and Scottish FA. Should they let Annan, for example, have crowds before Rangers and Celtic? There are arguments in both directions and at some point we'll trigger that but not yet, because we're still too worried about the virus."

How is the relationship between football and the authorities?

Doncaster and Scottish FA vice-president Mike Mulraney were vocal on Saturday in their belief that preventing fans returning is "political rather than clinical". So is there tension between them and the authorities? And do the latter feel like they are being strong-armed?

"The relationships are pretty good. We've got different jobs and come at it from a different angle. But so does the hospitality sector and the guy who runs Edinburgh Airport.

"It's never bad-tempered or unhappy; it's constructive. And fundamentally everybody wants the same thing. They want it slightly quicker than we think it's safe to do so but that's what I would do if I was in their seat.

"It's doesn't feel like a fight. It feels like they understand. The minister for sport and I are sports fans. Sometimes we come across as the bad guys because we are the ones slowing it down but we're doing our best to help them.

"Sports rhetoric is always turned up to 11 and, unlike other sectors, they've got wall-to-wall coverage. I'm okay with it as long as we occasionally get to give our version of the truth. People are big enough to make up their own minds about what we're saying and why we're saying it."

What news should we expect on Tuesday?

Doncaster is due to meet with sports minister Joe Fitzpatrick on Monday, and Tuesday marks the three-week review date for the pause on test events and fans returning. Will the First Minister relax the restrictions at all?

"A number of things have happened since then so I wouldn't expect any change for a few weeks. The most likely outcome will be "we'll look again in three weeks". But I'm the advisor, not the decision-maker."

Do you believe we will see stadiums at full capacity this season?

It is now over six months since a crowd bigger than 300 fans watched a football match in Scotland. Will that change in the next six months?

"I don't think we'll see full capacity stadiums this season. I think we'll see crowds before next summer but not full stadiums, I don't think."

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