Whitletts Victoria manager George Grierson fears the club will be in “deep trouble” financially within a month unless fans are allowed to safely return for the start of the league season.

It comes as the Vics continue their pre-season preparation ahead of the new West of Scotland Football League which is provisionally set to kick-off on October 10 but uncertainty surrounds the start-date.

Vics will play in Conference A and on the opening day will travel to Bellshill Athletic.

However, it is extremely unlikely any fans will be able to attend the opening fixtures after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delayed the return of spectators to stadiums until at least October 5.

Vics boss Grierson believes it is not viable in the long run to play without fans.

He said: “For me there are two issues that need sorted before the league starts – the lack of changing and shower facilities for players and the return of supporters. Without sorting these two problems out it is unacceptable to start. We cannot function without fans and it is unfair on players.

“The money side is huge for us. If we can’t get supporters in, I don’t see how it can work.

“I have had conversations with our chairman and we would be in deep trouble within a month or two and I think the majority of clubs would be the same unless fans get back.

“I don’t think it is right to ask players to play for nothing and take their own car to games and come back without even having a shower as their cars will become a mess.

“Some boys might say enough is enough and call it a day. Maybe if we are challenging for the league you can sustain the squad you have but if you have nothing to play for I cannot see players wanting to continue during the winter.”

Despite the uncertainly, Grierson remains optimistic, for his side’s chances when the season does eventually start.

He said: “Our aim is to win the league. We have a very exciting team. The players can see we are building something special. The start date is still not 100 per cent confirmed but we can just be as professional as we can.”