Jim McInally fears 'null and void' scenario as Peterhead boss demands answers over lower league suspension

Peterhead manager Jim McInally has demanded answers from the Scottish Government after proposals to end the suspension of lower league football fell on deaf ears.

Peterhead Manager Jim McInally has hit out at the Scottish Government, SFA and SPFL over the extension to the lower league suspension. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Peterhead Manager Jim McInally has hit out at the Scottish Government, SFA and SPFL over the extension to the lower league suspension. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

He has also hit out at the Scottish FA and SPFL following the announcement that all football in Scotland below the second tier will remain suspended until at least March 1, a decision he believes has put the campaign at risk of being declared “null and void”.

Only the top two divisions, the Premiership and Championship, are permitted to continue amid the ongoing national lockdown, and McInally, Scotland’s longest-serving manager having racked up nearly a decade in charge of the Blue Toon, wants an explanation as to why that is the case.

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It comes after League One and Two clubs submitted proposals to adopt weekly Covid-19 testing for players, individual travel to training and games and no visiting directors at games, similar to the current protocols in place in the top two divisions, as part of a return-to-play plan.

“I think the Scottish Government need to come out and explain why they are allowing football to continue in the top two divisions,” McInally told the Press and Journal.

“The League One and Two clubs submitted their proposal and if that’s not enough to get us started again then what is?

“That’s why the question needs to be asked as to why the Premiership and Championship are allowed to continue. Is it because they’re testing?

“If it is because they’re testing why can they not let everybody test and play? It doesn’t sit well with me at all.

“The decision making doesn’t seem to add up. I think the SFA and SPFL have let the clubs down massively, but it’s not the first time it’s happened.

“At the end of the day as long as the big teams are all right that’s all that matters to them.

“It never ceases to amaze you what happens in Scottish football, it’s just a shambles.

“It’s unbelievable and it needs somebody to explain it, but nobody will put their head up and explain it.

“If the explanation is because they (the Premiership and Championship) are testing then they should have given Leagues One and Two the chance to test.

“It’s this bias towards the big teams that is there and will never go away in Scottish football.”

Some clubs in Leagues One and Two had played as few as eight games before last month’s shutdown and McInally now fears that completing the already shortened 27-game season will not be possible in the time frame available.

He added: “I don’t think there’s much choice beyond null and void now. If March 1 is the next update you’re not going to be playing before the 14th realistically and before you know it you’d be into April and May so it wouldn’t be possible.

“Even if it was cut to 18 games it would still be a struggle, but at the end of the day they (the SFA and SPFL) will do what suits them and what suits the bigger clubs.”

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