Cove Rangers’ Keith Moorhouse says he is in full support of the Scottish FA’s decision to suspend football below the Championship as Covid-19 cases surge.
League One, alongside the likes of League Two, the Highland League and the Scottish Women’s Premier League, has been put on hold for at least three weeks.
Professional football is allowed to continue under Scottish Government guidelines, despite tough lockdown measures, however, explaining the decision, SFA president Rod Petrie said “the risk of mass transportation of untested, largely part-time players is something that cannot be sustained as the cases continue to rise and available hospital beds become increasingly scarce”.
Moorhouse, who is chairman of League One Cove, said: “I’m totally supportive. It’s not unexpected and, as a club, we’re totally behind the decision that’s been made.
“Right now, it’s about putting people’s safety first.
“As much as every club is abiding by the stringent protocols put in place, the rate the new strain of the virus is moving at is a real concern for everybody.
“As a dad, husband, brother and son, you’ve got to put all that first.”
While there had been calls for the part-time game to be paused in some quarters, Moorhouse says Cove have been focused on football.
At the weekend, they beat Championship Alloa 3-2 to set up a Scottish Cup third round tie with top-flight leaders Rangers.
It is unclear when the fixture will take place, with the national trophy now suspended indefinitely as part of the SFA’s ruling.
Moorhouse said he backs action to combat the spread of the virus, and hopes, when part-time football is allowed to resume “in three weeks or three months”, the return of fans is closer and players are also allowed to shower after matches, which has been prohibited.
He added: “We’ve just got on with our business and gone with the decisions made by the authorities.
“We’ve been focused on the task in hand and, if we’re told to do something, we just get on with it and haven’t gone into that level of conversation with the boys (on whether they wanted a suspension).
“I’d expect the boys to be disappointed it’s been paused, on the back of Saturday’s result and the excitement of getting Rangers in the draw, but the reality is, in my opinion, it’s the right decision.
“We need to see the back of this, it’s as simple as that – there’s a whole wide world out there beyond football.”
When the lower leagues restarted in October, there was a feeling the return of supporters was close.
However, the new strain of Covid-19, which scientists believe spreads at a greater rate, has meant the reopening of terraces feels more remote now than it did four months ago.
Moorhouse said: “When the game resumed back in October, at that point there was a feeling the fans would be allowed back into the games at some point during the course of the season.
“Here we are now, where the numbers around the pandemic and the cases are worse than they were back then.
“There’s less light at the end of the tunnel then there was then.
“We’ll abide by the decision until such time as we’re allowed or permitted to do otherwise.”