Scottish Amateur Football News Exclusive
Amateur League President Explains Decision To Delay Start Of Season Scottish Amateur Football League President Margaret McMillan had revealed the shock decision made by Executive Committee Members to delay the start of the season until January 9, 2021, was reached having taken on board all the current restrictions imposed by the Scottish Government.
The Centenary Cup, which had been drawn in Groups to encourage local derbies and considerably cut down on travelling, would have been the focal point for 27 participating member clubs including newcomers Arthurlie AFC and Baljaffray AFC.
Clubs throughout many areas of Scotland are unable to train or play games, and the stop-start-stop messages being delivered without scientific evidence it would appear suggests in my opinion that Scottish Amateur Football has been “thrown under the bus.”
As a result, Leagues are being left to pick up the pieces. Margaret told me: “We agonise over every decision we make, and to be honest I did not look forward to informing clubs what is happening, but I think we were right leaving it until January.”
“One club had already indicated under the present circumstances they didn’t want to play. Maybe they jumped the gun a bit, but some of our referees said the same, and that is understandable.”
“Clubs have told us their players are asking “When can we train When can we play?” It is hard trying to keep the players interested. I think they need something to focus on. It’s ever-changing. We need to give teams some clarity and that has not been forthcoming from the SFA. It’s frustrating!”
“Why is it so different for ex-junior clubs (now West of Scotland League) to play and not us? One game recently was switched onto a public park, which our clubs would use. That was a kick in the teeth for us.”
“If we do get back in January you can’t expect teams to go straight into competitive games. We must allow them time to organise friendlies”
Absolutely! Obviously at the moment we can’t say how long they would have on that.
“What I can tell you is we will have another Zoom Meeting with the clubs next month for a further discussion.”
Meanwhile, chairing one of the most established leagues in Scotland has been met with the same commitment shown as Discipline Secretary – a role occupied for six years, and I posed the question “Has there previously been a female President at the top-table in any Amateur League in Scotland?”.I should also add Margaret’s husband, Raymond, is Secretary of the Scottish Amateur Football League!”
Margaret laughed and replied: “Robert Bowman (Minute Secretary) said he heard there may have been one up North, but we never had confirmation on that.”
” I am still the Discipline Secretary. Doing both! I do enjoy it. We have some great clubs and a great bunch of guys.”