League One and Two have been given the green light to restart.
But I don’t see how they can be played to a finish this season.
The situation is basically this: clubs at the top of League One and Two want to get started again, clubs at the bottom don’t want to go ahead, which you can understand.
On a nuts and bolts level, the obvious problem is how you fit in all the games between now and the end of the season.
But it’s not just about the fixture schedule and how many weeks we’ve got left.
The really big issue is the players. I don’t think anybody is thinking about them here.
I certainly haven’t heard anybody talk about their welfare yet!
That’s what this issue is really all about for me. That’s why restarting should be a non-starter.
To get players back to fitness when they’ve now had a longer break than they got in the summer, what’s the timescale?
In a normal pre-season you’re looking at something like four weeks. What can we give them now? Two weeks tops? At a push?
If we head down that road, it means putting an awful lot of pressure on players to come into a three or four-game-a-week schedule from a standing start.
Okay – there will have been players out doing road runs, but there will be others who have not turned a wheel since Boxing Day.
To get this season finished, you’d be putting a huge strain on players’ bodies.
NEWS | We welcome news from the First Minister that @SWPL 1 and @SPFL Leagues One and Two can return to football activity immediately, with the Scottish Cup also being given approval to resume.https://t.co/Klc4BEAK3c
— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) March 2, 2021
And that’s all assuming they all submit a negative Covid-19 test first, which I’ve been told by somebody at a lower league club who’s investigated timings isn’t likely to happen until Saturday at the earliest.
That’s March 7. The season’s supposed to end in May. Come on!
For me, the circumstances are just too strange here.
So what’s the solution? I think this season could – and probably should – be shelved.
I know teams at the top of the respective leagues won’t be happy with that.
But, for me, player welfare is the most important thing.
Can we really justify asking players to put their bodies and their health on the line for multiple games a week between now and May?
We’re asking them to be superhuman.
Instead we should accept they’re not.
We are used to being written-off at Arbroath.
That’s what was happening at Christmas time.
Now it’s a different story – and that’s all down to the boys.
Their spirit, their work rate, their effort. All have been first class.
We’ve beaten Ayr United, Dunfermline, Raith Rovers… these are tough opponents.
Arbroath vs @OfficialQosFC – Pay Per View
On Saturday we welcome Queen of the South to Gayfield in the Championship match of the weekend!
We shall stream this match on https://t.co/2wiTnPHO39 free to season ticket holders and £12 for all other fans.
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) March 1, 2021
But it’s brilliant to see how the players have taken these games on.
They just don’t know when they’re beaten. Their attitude is spot on.
Saturday, against Queen of the South, who are another form team, won’t be easy.
But no team looks forward to coming Gayfield – and we’ll look to keep our run going.
I’m delighted for Callum Davidson, leading St Johnstone to the Betfred Cup.
I’m just sorry no fans could be there to see it.
It’s unfortunate for the people of Perth. That’s the one real downside about football at the moment.
Hopefully, come next season, we can get fans back into grounds and the good times can start rolling again.