Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters believes the Premier Sports Cup is being ‘diluted’ because it comes slap bang in the middle of clubs’ summer reshuffles and blocks any chance to view trialists.
The Borough Briggs chief will see his League Two side bow out of this competition after their tie at League One hosts East Fife on Saturday.
A midweek 3-1 home loss to League Two new boys Kelty Hearts keeps Elgin at the foot of Group B and only a win or a penalty shoot-out bonus point triumph will take them above their opponents.
UEFA ruling is a block for clubs in summer
Tatters though made his feelings clear in the programme notes for the Kelty clash as he said clubs not being allowed to field trialists in these games, as bound by UEFA, is a real challenge which has weakened the League Cup.
EAST FIFE TICKET INFO
Away fans are able to purchase tickets:
Option 1 – General Sale as of tomorrow here https://t.co/XJmPGMDxal
Option 2 – Phone the East Fife office (this can be done as of today)
Our allocated Sections are J & K
See you down there 🤍 pic.twitter.com/8QfSI6SkoM
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) July 22, 2021
He said: “When this early-season competition was initiated, I joined many clubs in expressing the need to allow loanees and trialists for these games.
“This apparently is not allowed under UEFA rules, so every player has to be registered – this puts clubs in a very difficult position.
“The pre-season is shop short, we have little time to play friendlies and take in players to assess them before committing to a contract.
“This pre-season has been particularly difficult due to players’ isolation as a result of track and trace.
“I hope a solution can be found for the future as the quality of this competition is being diluted because it is so early in the season and squads are still being assembled.
“It’s also a fact that the dwindling period of time between seasons makes pitch and ground maintenance more difficult too.”
Little settling in well at Borough Briggs
Meanwhile, City manager Gavin Price was pleased in parts with his team’s performance against Kelty as Creag Little’s early goal was wiped out by Cameron Russell before a brace from ex-Inverness hitman Nathan Austin won Kelty the match.
On the whistle, he felt his players “ran out of steam” as the squad still plays catch-up after 10 days of isolation caused by Covid.
The East Fife clash is the final one for Elgin before their league campaign starts next weekend at home to Stranraer.
Of his scorer, Little, who came in from Stenhousemuir this summer, he added: “I was pleased for Creag to get his goal.
“He has settled in really well. If you take the third goal away, I thought he and Matthew Cooper were excellent against Kelty.”
- Elgin this week completed the loan signing of Caley Thistle defender Harry Nicolson, 20, until January.