Darren Young hits out after East Fife asked to run Covid-19 risk as Clyde call-off throws League One into chaos

East Fife manager Darren Young has moved to further clarify the club's decision not to take to the field against Clyde on Tuesday night.

Darren Young. (Picture: Michael Gillen)
Darren Young. (Picture: Michael Gillen)
Darren Young. (Picture: Michael Gillen)

In a move that could have ramifications for the conclusion of the League One season, the game at Broadwood was abandoned minutes before kick off after it came to light that a Clyde player had tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement released following the decision, the Bully Wee claim a review was conducted by the Joint Response Group, confirming the match could still go ahead.

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However, after discussing the situation with his players, Young had no hesitation in backing their stance not to compete on safety grounds.

Some of the East Fife squad have pregnant partners while others were concerned for their employment, should they be forced to self-isolate through the track and trace system.

The Methil side, and Young, were roundly praised last night on social media for their position.

On Wednesday morning, boss Young wished the affected player a speedy recovery, and added further clarity to the decision.

"A member of the Clyde team received a positive COVID result after being tested on Saturday, with the results only coming back 30 minutes before the start of last night's game," he said.

"We only found this out as we took to the field for kick-off.

"By this point the player had already been in the changing room, done the warm up and mixed with all the other players."

Young confirmed that East Fife were asked if they still wished to play adding that, to his knowledge, the JRG were not consulted or spoken to before Young and chairman Jim Stevenson withdrew the team from the League One fixture.

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The Fife boss added: "I find it scandalous that all through the past year and a bit, where the safety and the well-being of players/staff is paramount, we were put in a position and asked if we wanted to, or were willing, to take that risk.

"We have adhered to all the rules and regulations throughout this period like everyone else and unfortunately now this is the second time it's happened to us against Clyde this season.

"I 100 per cent will always back my players, especially when it comes to a situation where their health and well-being are put on the line."

The postponement has thrown the end of the League One season into chaos.

Clyde are battling to avoid relegation and there will be major doubts over whether their remaining fixtures against Forfar on Thursday and Dumbarton on Saturday can be fulfilled if players have to self-isolate.

There are protocols in place for the final standings to be determined on a points-per-game basis, but a quick decision will have to be made on whether Clyde will be awarded the points for Tuesday's match because East Fife refused to play.

That would have repercussions for Dumbarton who are battling with Clyde to avoid second bottom spot and the relegation play-offs – which might also be affected if Clyde's players are forced to self-isolated.

Ironically earlier in the season the match between East Fife and Clyde at Bayview was also called off because of positive Covid tests among the Clyde squad.

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