You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rutherglen boss fears West of Scotland League will never kick-off this season

Daily Record logoDaily Record 16/09/2020 Paul Thomson

Rutherglen Glencairn boss Willie Harvey admits the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 is driving him up the wall – and he fears the West of Scotland League won’t get the go-ahead this season.

The Glens were forced to change their friendly plans over the course of last week due to lockdown restrictions being enforced across the west of Scotland, and they ended up being idle on Saturday when Lanarkshire was also forced into a mini-lockdown.

That has since been lifted.

However, to add to Harvey’s woes, teams in the West of Scotland League don’t know their fixtures for the new campaign yet and there is uncertainty over when the season – which had a start date of October 10 and could be pushed back to October 31 – is due to kick-off.

Harvey said: “It’s an absolute minefield at the moment and it’s driving us up the wall. The way things are going, you wonder if this season is ever going to start.

“That’s the scary thing, the way things are going with the virus again.

a man talking on a cell phone: Manager Willie Harvey © Rutherglen Reformer Manager Willie Harvey

“October 10 is supposed to be the first game, but it’s mental the things you’ve got to put in place to get a game.

“You must have Covid rules, a Covid officer, a security officer...jeezo, it’s frustrating. But we’ve got to jump through the hoops we need to jump through to get football started again.

“We had to change our fixtures three times last week.

"We had agreed to play BSC Glasgow on Saturday, but that had to be called off because BSC are under the Glasgow umbrella. We were down to play Shotts, who came under North Lanarkshire, and that got closed down on Friday because we were only allowed to play teams within our own area.

“We’ve now arranged to play Carluke on Saturday, so fingers crossed that goes ahead.”

Meanwhile, Harvey insists their West of Scotland League Premier campaign can’t kick-off without fans being allowed back into stadiums.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last week that a planned return of fans on September 14 has been postponed until at least October 5.

a group of young men playing a game of football: Glencairn will bring senior football back to Rutherglen © West Lothian Courier Glencairn will bring senior football back to Rutherglen

And Harvey is warning it would cripple clubs to start without their fans.

”We can’t start the season without supporters because there’s no money coming in,” he stressed. “The big teams like Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen have sponsorship coming in, but sponsorship is almost nowhere to be seen in our game at the moment.

“It’s very frustrating. Every day I’m looking at the papers or watching the news expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. 

“You don’t know how long this lockdown on certain areas is going to last because the numbers don’t seem to be receding.

“The ‘R’ number [rate of infection]seems to be getting higher and the Government won’t change things until that number comes down again – and that doesn’t happen overnight.

“It’s up to our league to have discussions with the powers that be and the Scottish Government to get some sort of normality back.

“Hopefully, things can be worked out, but I appreciate it’s murder for them as well.”

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on  Facebook or find us on  Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Daily Record

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon