Arbroath still have an open mind about how the Championship will look next season, according to Mike Caird.
But the Gayfield chairman admitted he finds it hard to envisage the Red Lichties playing out a full campaign in the SPFL’s second tier.
At the start of the week the representatives of the 10 clubs held a virtual meeting, with issues such as coronavirus testing, closed-doors football and ways in which the drop in turnstile income could be offset all on the agenda.
And Caird believes there are far too many “unknowns” preventing a clear route map to the return of football in their division being laid out yet.
A traditional August to May league season does appear to be out of the question from part-time Arbroath’s standpoint, however.
“It was a positive meeting,” Caird told Courier Sport.
“Ross McArthur (of Dunfermline) chaired it and let everybody have their say and it will be fed back to the SPFL.
“As you would imagine there were different worries but as far as we’re concerned there are still a lot of unknowns.
“We’re waiting on government guidelines. The SFA working party will give us a steer and we’ll take their lead.”
He added: “It’s widely known that playing behind closed-doors is not ideal. Maybe we would get away with it for a short period of time but not in the long term.
“Season ticket sales, sponsorship and advertising all hinge on being able to get people into the ground.
“I can’t see it being a full programme to be honest. We’d be worried about starting and then stopping again. We don’t want to over stretch ourselves.
“The feeling could be towards a truncated season of some description but it’s all up in the air. I can’t give definitive answers yet.”
Using Premiership clubs as the trailblazers in Scotland makes sense to Caird.
“It would be good to let the Premiership go first and see what their issues are,” he said.
“By going a bit later we’ll know more about testing and the costs may have come down.
“A lot of this is about timing when to start. If you start too early or play behind closed-doors for too long you’ve got all the outgoings but no income.
“We’ve got a capacity of 6,500 at Gayfield. Even allowing us 20% of that would let us get by.”
As with the top flight, it is hoped the ‘Pixellot’ automated camera system will help Championship sides tap into the in-game betting world, while doubling up as the streaming service for fans willing to pay around £7 per game to watch their team play.
That is another area where more meat needs to be put on the bones.
“We would welcome it but it’s up in the air,” said Caird. “Would it get us by? We need to keep looking into that.”
Extending the contract of highly-rated centre-back Tam O’Brien through to 2014 certainly shows that Arbroath’s focus is on playing football rather than mothballing.
“Fans and players all want to get back,” said Caird.
“We had such a great season last year and we’re desperate to be playing again.
“We’ve got 13 signed players and we’re champing at the bit as a club.”