Cove Rangers midfielder Ryan Strachan has appealed to Scottish football’s authorities not to wreck the club’s dream of winning promotion to League 2.
The Press and Journal Highland League leaders are favourites to win the championship but face a potentially crippling fixture list as they try to secure the title before April 14.
The Highland League winners are due to meet the Lowland League champions in the League 2 play-off semi-final on April 21 but for that to happen Cove face the prospect of having to play 12 league matches before April 14.
A meeting of officials from the Lowland League, Highland League, SFA and SPFL is scheduled today and Strachan hopes a solution can be found to avoid a schedule he believes will ensure his club has no chance of winning promotion via the play-offs.
He said: “There’s a meeting to discuss what can be done but if we do face the schedule being talked about it will be impossible to go up if we are crowned Highland League champions as the players will be out on their feet by the time the play-offs come around.
“What we’re facing at the moment will give us no chance of winning promotion to League 2 next season if we do win the Highland League.
“We don’t have a playing schedule yet but we know we’re definitely playing two games a week from now on and at some point there will be three games in a week and potentially one week where we will play four games.
“I don’t have know what the answer is but we’ve had a great season in terms of the cup competitions and the league and it doesn’t seem right that we’re going to be punished for that when it really matters at the end of the campaign.”
A combination of cup commitments and postponements have left Cove in their predicament at the business end of the season and former Peterhead and Aberdeen midfielder Strachan hopes common sense can prevail and an extension of some form can be agreed.
He said: “One option is to extend the season but that’s not ideal for players and clubs either as it will reduce their break but it’s better than having to play four times a week.
“If we were crowned champions before all the games have been completed we could rest a few lads and even come back and finish the fixtures after the play-offs or maybe moving the Highland League Cup to the end of the season could be looked at.
“We’re due to play Forres in the League Cup on Saturday which is daft when there are so many league games outstanding. The Highland League should be the priority until this situation is sorted out.”