Linlithgow Rose chairman Jon Mahoney frustrated at being kept in dark by government
Linlithgow Rose chairman Jon Mahoney has outlined his chagrin that the East of Scotland Premier League is among those still waiting for Scottish FA confirmation that its delayed 2020-21 season will be restarted this spring.
While First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week paved the way for an immiment return to training for SPFL League 1 and League 2 and SWPL1 after two months off due to coronavirus restrictions - with matches to follow soon subject to coronavirus testing measures being in place – no mention was made of teams plying their trade in divisions further down the pyramid.
“Everybody is frustrated (at the lack of information),” Mahoney told the Journal and Gazette. "I don’t think there will be a club playing below the SPFL that isn’t frustrated.
"Because we’ve all got players who want to play football and they’ve already put in a shift to get started.
"I felt we were just getting into our stride when the season stopped. So that was particularly difficult for us to take.
"I understand why they did it. We had a peak of a more infectious strain going on.
"I can understand why they have allowed the SPFL teams and the Women’s Premier League teams to return. They are doing so on the basis of weekly testing and I don’t know how viable that is for any club at our level.
"None of us got a £100,000 handout from the government which League 2 did.
"And in League 1, Falkirk got £150,000 I think.
"If someone had come along and given us £100,000 we’d have tested every week as well and would have cracked on.
"But that wasn’t made available to us. I’m not quite sure how the split of the funds from the government were worked out.
"Everybody got the same depending on the tier they were in, which kind of made me wonder why I bothered filling in so much data for the SFA in the first place – what the reality of the economic impact of not having supporters at games looked like.
"Because obviously it’s different for different teams. But in the end we’ve all been bracketed in the same way.”
Mahoney said he was puzzled why part-time Championship side Alloa got £500,000 in government grant money while full-time League 1 outfit Falkirk only got £150,000.