RENFREW manager Colin Clark has issued a plea for supporters to be allowed into grounds once the new season kicks off.

Teams have been able to take part in friendly matches in recent weeks but have been unable to play in front of fans, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Other restrictions also remain in place, with players unable to use the changing rooms or take a shower.

The competitive action is due to resume on October 10, with the new West of Scotland Football League getting underway.

However, Clark reckons there is “no point” in starting the 2020/21 campaign unless supporters are able to watch the action.

He told Gazette Sport: “It’s football but it’s not football as it should be.

“Clubs need an income and that comes from fans spending money before the game and at half-time, so it’s difficult without them.

“I just don’t see clubs, at grassroots level, surviving the way it is just now. They need an income to keep things running and to pay the players’ wages.

“Clubs aren’t using coaches to travel to games just now, with the boys travelling there themselves, but that in itself incurs travel expenses for the boys who are doing that.”

Clark, whose team lost 4-1 to local rivals Johnstone Burgh in a pre-season friendly at Keanie Park on Saturday, also believes it is possible for players to use changing facilities and stay safe at the same time.

He added: “I understand the restrictions but I think that, if you can get 22 guys on the park and having contact, kicking each other, pulling, grabbing and sweating, then how can you not have them getting changed in a dressing room?

“You can have two or three in at a time, which means they can still socially distance in there.

“We’re looking at an October start [for competitive matches], when the weather can get particularly bad, and we’ll be asking boys to travel home in a car while they are soaking wet and cold. That’s not viable.

“It’s fine when the weather is alright but you can imagine turning up in the car with your kit on and the rain pouring, then it’s a different story.

“Until we can get players into dressing rooms and get them showered, I don’t see the point. I think we’re going to need to have something concrete in place before we can start back properly.”

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