Dundee United manager Micky Mellon believes a national plan is required to help Scottish football clubs survive the coronavirus crisis.
With the return of fans to matches now looking unlikely until the new year at the earliest, Mellon thinks there should be a rescue package put in place without delay.
He is not just talking about a financial bailout but a larger, coherent strategy that will somehow pave the way for people to return to stadia.
Mellon also admitted the latest Covid-19 setback may have an impact on his club’s signing ambitions, although they remain actively in the market for additions to their squad.
It was the bigger picture – and what a massive concern it is – that was at the forefront of Mellon thoughts.
Asked if he felt financial assistance from government was now required to stave off a Scottish football disaster, the Tannadice boss replied: “Not just financially but to help us to try and find a way forward.
These clubs have no income…how are they going to survive?
“The only way we are going to get going again is by getting fans in.
“We all have to sit down to find some way and place, on the horizon, how we are going to get fans back in, be it staged or whatever.
“We need to find a way to get people in to keep the clubs moving ahead in some way.
“At the minute, there is nothing on the horizon.
“I understand it is difficult to give dates as to when we can do anything but it would be good to sit down and say this is how we are going to help these clubs to survive.
“These clubs have no income and how are they going to survive?
“The only way is by getting people through the door.
“We must think about how can we achieve this rather than have a blanket of ‘no fans.’
“We have to work towards finding a way or these clubs are going under and that is not what Scotland needs.”
Mellon’s playing and coaching background has been in England and the pressure on sides playing without spectators is huge on both sides of the border.
“A lot of football clubs in England are hand to mouth,” he added.
“Fans come in and that is what pays the bills until the next home game.
“It is not just the tickets but all the second spends as well.
“When that money isn’t coming in then I don’t know where it comes from.
“If we want to continue then we have to find some way of these clubs enabling finance to get us through this.
“It is the bigger picture. It is a community thing and a need for the community to have a football club at the end of this.
“I am aware of the virus and it is terrifying but we need to find a way forward for these clubs to survive.”
So does that mean even United, with their wealthy owner Mark Ogren and place in the televised land of the Premiership, are having to cut their cloth accordingly?
“Clubs have always got to be prudent because you have a responsibility to the local communities to make sure there is always a football club for them to come and watch,” he said.
“The football club in Scotland, as we know, so often represents the local people.
“You always have to make sure you are not reckless with that and putting things in jeopardy.
“I hope that never changes because I am a football person and I know what the clubs mean to their communities.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to be reckless at any time but, at this stage when things are as bad as I have ever known, yeah you would have to be of a mind that at the end of all this we have football clubs surviving.”
United have let midfielder Declan Glass go out on loan to Partick Thistle, while defender Kieran Freeman is heading to Peterhead, also on loan.
However, Mellon still hinted at incomings as well as outgoings.
He said: “We are trying to strengthen as much as we can.
“Sometimes you think things will happen and then they just drift a little bit.
“We are a club who are trying hard to strengthen.
“Tony (Asghar, the sporting director) and the recruitment boys are working hard to make things happen and I am aware of it.
“Hopefully, we will have some news very soon but sometimes you might have something but then for one reason or another it drifts.
“Transfers are so delicate and anything can just tilt it but we are trying hard.”
On the park, the Tangerines are heading to Hamilton Accies’ plastic pitch on Saturday in good shape after their vital victory over St Mirren at home last weekend.
Mellon said: “It will be a tough game on the 4G.
“We will need to be prepared because we are playing against a Hamilton team that knows how to battle and to gain points in the Premiership.
“We believe we have prepared well enough to go and get a result.
“Every year the same things get said and they love that tag and use that as their motivation against everybody they play to make sure they prove the bookies and everybody wrong.
“Everybody in football knows, everyone who goes up against them, what a tough opponent they are and we will need to be very good to get a result there.”
Long-term absentee Liam Smith remains a doubt for Hamilton but is making progress, while central defender Mark Connolly is also continuing his recovery from injury.