Whitletts Victoria will NOT play in this year’s West of Scotland Football League after the club withdrew from the competition over safety concerns.

It comes after the majority of clubs voted to start the league on October 24. But the Vics committee issued a statement saying they would not participate in Conference A of the new set-up due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Several players at Whitletts Victoria have already had to self-isolate after one of the squad tested positive for the virus and the committee felt it would be wrong to start under current restrictions.

The club also highlighted the issue of fans not being allowed to attend fixtures as another reason for their withdrawal.

Ayr Advertiser:

Club secretary John Dalton said: “A number of clubs, including Whitletts, have had to postpone pre-season matches and cancel training sessions as a result of coronavirus and the figures are on the rise again and in the opinion of the committee, this will result in fixtures being postponed throughout the season.

“Despite having all the advised procedures in place, we’ve already had players who have had to self-isolate through no fault their own. In these circumstances, as a club we can not ask players to play potentially with the possibility of missing out on work and income.

“Players are being asked to travel to matches in their own cars, dressed in their strip and return home after the match wearing a wet, sweaty, dirty strip without having been able to have a shower and with no access to a dressing room. It’s not right and the club has a duty of care to our players and coaching staff.

“The game without fans is nothing and having no fans in the ground greatly affects the income of the club.

“The income generated from having fans at matches is vital and to compete this season would put the club’s financial future at risk.”

He added: “This decision was not taken lightly and it is a deeply disappointing day in the history of Whitletts Victoria FC.

“However our absence from the game is only temporary and we will return.”