Carluke Rovers boss Mark Weir: Celtic Covid debacle made it easy to call off lower leagues

Mark Weir (left) is pictured with his Carluke Rovers assistant manager Kenny NeillMark Weir (left) is pictured with his Carluke Rovers assistant manager Kenny Neill
Mark Weir (left) is pictured with his Carluke Rovers assistant manager Kenny Neill
From midnight tonight, all Scottish professional football below the SPFL Championship will be postponed for three weeks following an emergency Scottish FA board meeting discussing the escalating coronavirus situation.

This means that, like hundreds of other teams across the country, local sides Lanark United, Carluke Rovers and Forth Wanderers will play no more matches – in their case in the West of Scotland League – until February 1 at the earliest.

Rovers gaffer Mark Weir told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette that the “carry on” with Celtic, in which 13 players plus manager Neil Lennon and his assistant John Kennedy were on Monday told to self isolate upon their return from a Dubai training camp after injured defender Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19, had “made it easy” for the authorities to postpone a vast swathe of Scottish matches.

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Weir added: “I was hurt when I heard the football had been put off but at the same time I saw it coming.

“The guys at Celtic’s level are getting tested twice a week whereas we’re not getting tested at all. And yet we’ve still been able to train a Monday and a Thursday and play on Saturdays.

“This Saturday we were supposed to be going to Irvine.

“The SFA are doing the right thing, it’s just the stop/start that is not so good. I’m at the stage now where I think the authorities should just cancel the season and we’ll start afresh whenever this pandemic seems to be getting a bit better. Because at the moment it’s getting worse day by day, let’s be honest.

“Once the pandemic picks up then hopefully the season at our level can begin rather than this stop/start season that we’re having.

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“I know most of the Rovers players look after themselves so I hope they just keep that up and we’ll see what happens on January 31.”

Over the next three weeks, Weir will stay in touch with his players via WhatsApp with the continued high prevalence of a more infectious new mutant strain of Covid surely casting doubt on whether the 2020-21 season will resume at all.

The pandemic has led to thousands of redundancies and furloughed staff, with Weir glad his job at Glasgow Airport is still continuing.

“I’m still doing maintenance work at the airport,” Weir said.

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“We’re still getting flights coming and going from Heathrow, Amsterdam and the Emirates.

“Why, I don’t know. And we are getting a handful of passengers still travelling to and from these places.

“I’m still in a job at the moment and still able to get out and about.

“The football scenario, I had thought that I would love it to keep going.

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“But now I’m at the stage where I think we should just cancel the season and start fresh from the summer or whenever everyone is vaccinated.

“Going back to the first outbreak last March, we were stopped.

“For us still to carry on now when we’re worse off, I would have found it a bit odd to be honest with you.

“I was just waiting on the postponement happening.”

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