The Big Amateur Debate – Has The Game Been Harshly Treated?

You could have heard a pin drop on Tuesday evening when an Official Social Media post revealed “The Government has today confirmed that they cannot currently commit to return dates for those affected leagues in the coming weeks”, writes Tom Scott.

I have not personally counted the number of Clubs and Officials who would have reacted to that latest update, but I can imagine the comments would have been a mixture of genuine anger and frustration.

Can you blame them? After the March (2020) notification to “cease football with immediate effect”, we have had start-stop-start- and stop again messages right across the board.

Some organisations managed one or more League games – others are holding out to play a reduced number of domestic fixtures – but many have thrown in the towel and aim to concentrate on season 2021-2021….that is if Clubs have not already folded!

Just to set the record straight in certain quarters, this is not just about going to a local park and having a game of football with your pals. No chance – not with over 1000 Clubs (at the last count) in Membership of the Scottish Amateur Football Association.

Talks will continue with all parties in the meantime we have been told, and a further update is expected by 1st March, “but should not be seen as a proposed re-start day.”

The Physical and Mental Health issues have been a huge cause for concern over many months, and as a neutral observer – I am not involved with any Amateur Football Club – can anyone in authority produce figures that show Scottish Amateur Football Clubs have contributed to the number – increased they keep telling us – of Covid-19 cases?

And will the Government set out in language we all understand “What is their Exit Strategy to Football returning?” From where I stand, the game has been harshly treated!

At considerable expense, dedicated Officials have followed the same Covid protocols and regulations as other organisations who until recently were allowed to train and play.

I heard whispers that due to Clubs not having their own grounds this was part of the risk. Well, actually quite a few have, and maintain their Clubhouse/ Dressing Rooms, so is that not better? In any case, many “for hire” venues throughout the country are all.

Covid compliant. Staff have had their training etc, which actually means everyone needs to follow the rules more than they have already been doing!

Leagues throughout many areas of Scotland have actually been restructured to prevent excessive travelling. It is hardly a level playing field when you feel there is a clear case of discrimination.

OPEN TO DEBATE: Now have YOUR say on the subject of “No Amateur Football.” If YOU are an Official, Manager, Coach or Player, I welcome your comments. Has the Government stance been spot-on from Day One, or could alternative solutions been looked at collectively, constructively and implemented?

* Please remember we do not need opinions which border on legal action.

SPOT THE BALL… Scottish Amateur Football players would love to see one again – sooner rather than later! Action from the Tollcross Thistle AFC v East Kilbride YM FC. Scottish Amateur Cup Quarter-Final Replay at the Oriam on 7th March, 2020.  Tollcross Thistle won 2-0.

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