East Fife boss Darren Young has backed his players’ decision not to take to the field against Clyde tonight.
The Fifers were at Broadwood for what was essentially a dead rubber given they can neither win promotion nor be relegated.
It should have been a relatively routine night for Young’s side – until the evening took a twist seconds before kick off.
As the sides made their way onto the park for kick off, match officials and safety officers approached the Bayview management team to advise them that a Clyde player had returned a positive Covid-19 test.
CLUB STATEMENT | Postponement of tonight's SPFL League One match against Clyde
— East Fife FC (@EastFifeFC) April 27, 2021
There was much discussion in the minutes that followed, with Young using this time to discuss the situation with his squad.
After talks with them, it quickly became apparent that there was no way he would put his players at risk.
The Fife boss said shortly after the decision was made: “One of their players has come back as testing positive and found out 40 minutes ago.
“Why it has happened that late towards a game I don’t have a clue.
“The guy in question, whoever that may be, was on one of the buses up to Peterhead on Saturday and may well have passed it on, we don’t know.
“He was also in changing tonight and did the warm up as well until they found out about the test and sent him away.
Club Statement: Clyde v East Fifehttps://t.co/Hk2B4mSsfp
— Clyde FC (@ClydeFC) April 27, 2021
“I possibly would have been okay to play but I needed to speak to the players and the chairman.
“The chairman was a no and then, when I spoke to the guys, three or four of them have partners who are pregnant so I definitely could not put guys like that at risk.
“The boys were also saying that if they played against players who have been around this guy then they might have to self-isolate through the track and trace.
“Will their employer pay them if they can’t work for 10 or 12 days?
“So that was it and I’ll back my players to the hilt.
“The decision was no.”
The Bully Wee are locked in a battle to avoid the relegation play-offs, with the East Fife postponement now posing a further headache.
There is no suggestion when the game will be rearranged, with the Broadwood side saying in a a statement: “The club can confirm that, following a positive Covid-19 test in the squad tonight, a review was conducted by the Joint Response Group, who subsequently confirmed that tonight’s Clyde v East Fife match could go ahead.
“However, East Fife took the decision not to fulfil the fixture, leaving the referee with no option but to postpone the match.
“The club will make further comment when possible.”