DERGVIEW haven’t ruled out participating in an alternative regionalised league cup competition in the spring after it was confirmed that this year’s NIFL Championship wasn’t going ahead.
At a meeting of club representatives on Monday evening a clear majority voted against attempting to play a 22-game league season when and if current lockdown restrictions are relaxed next month.
There have been numerous attempts to get the season up and running but a failure to secure similar ‘elite’ status to their counterparts in the Danske Bank Premiership meant clubs in the second tier were curtailed by Covid restrictions.
There had been a number of false dawns but on Monday night clubs accepted defeat and said enough was enough.
Dergview’s representative Nigel Lecky said there was an acceptance that a programme of 22 games couldn’t be fitted into a tight window of three months.
“For a start an 11-game league was never a runner,” he said.
“The scenario was explained to us with the various dates and restrictions. We couldn’t train before March 5th and the latest possible finish date was the 26th or 27th of June.
“Taking into consideration that the earliest possible start date was April 3rd, that only allowed 13 weeks and 25 opportunities to play 22 league games and at least one Irish Cup fixture.
“That was deemed too much. All clubs wanted to play however there was an acceptance that it could not be done and it was unfair to be asking part-time or amateur players to play two games a week for 10 weeks.
“The worry was that it left no room for manoeuvre. The Premiership has been running for 18 weeks but the maximum games completed by any team is 15. It was accepted as inevitable that there would be at least one instance of a break around Covid and there was simply no room for that.
“Elite status was always the key and had we been able to get that then we could have gone back to training this month. It’s been well documented that we weren’t going to get that at this stage and reluctantly clubs accepted the inevitable.”
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE
Posted: 1:26 pm February 6, 2021