Scottish lower league football’s flickering hopes of a getting a re-start date to the 2020/21 season “for one and all” could be snuffed out over the next few days.

The Joint Response Group, made up of leading SFA and SPFL figures and whose remit is to look after the interests of the Scottish game in its entirety, inclusive of clubs in the WoSFL, Lowland League and Women’s Premier League, issued a release after last Wednesday’s road map announcement stating they are set to host a crunch Zoom conference meeting with Scottish Government ministers.

It read: “The Joint Response Group notes the First Minister’s road map out of lockdown outlined at Holyrood today. We await further clarification from ministers in the coming days on the implications for Scottish football at all levels, including leagues and clubs currently under the Scottish FA suspension and the wider grassroots game.

"We will provide a more detailed update when ministers outline the road map for affected areas of Scottish football.

"The JRG is committed to working with government to ensure the national game is primed to return within the ‘progressive easing’ timeline announced today."

Time constraints are thought to be making it increasingly unlikely that the respective league seasons will ever be completed in their current format with the JRG thought to have a number of alternative “finishing” proposals to put on the table for discussion.

Not having a “one-fix” structure for the common good of all is sure to complicate talk, but attempts to appease ministers with an agreed set of procedures to curb any potential spread of Coronavirus is looking more of an overwhelming issue.

League One and Two clubs as well as a majority of Lowland League outfits have expressed a willingness to regularly test players for the remainder of this season if a return to playing action is guaranteed. However, the cost would be prohibitive for WoSFL teams, even if the ban on supporters attending games was to be lifted.

Among those waiting to see if some kind of plan can be agreed for lower league level any time soon is Renfrew team manager Colin Clark.

“I’d like to think a decision is made one way or another on whether we play the season out or don’t, but I’m not holding out much hope if truth be told," he said.

“Up to now we have stumbled from one review date to the next so I can understand why there’s a growing clamour of voices wanting to totally can the season if a workable re-start date cannot be given.

“Reading between the lines, other clubs out there never anticipated the current state of affairs lasting as long as it has [without fans] when voting to play this season and they might now be regretting their decision, particularly with all this stopping and starting.

“And the increased virus levels will be another consideration because there’s no justification for bringing together young and fit players three times per week if you cannot guarantee they will not come into contact with others who are not as young and fit, nor as careful as them.

"Finding a way to test players has to be the way forward as you only know who is infected when you do.”

Clark believes Renfrew are better placed than many rival clubs given their sumptuous and roomy New Western Park dressing-room facilities lend themselves to the strict observance of Covid-19 restrictions.

“We have an inordinate amount of space and could quite easily split the players four to a room if necessary and having this capability for everyone to be socially distant was one of the reasons for turning down requests earlier this season from other clubs, Lowland League and WoSFL, asking to ground share.”

“If there is a slackening of the guidelines then we will be ideally placed to put forward proposals to lift the ban on using dressing rooms which has probably been the biggest bugbear of our decision as a club to keep playing.

“I could have gone either way myself, but sided with the majority and what has been refreshing for me as manager is seeing how those players that initially didn’t want to continue got behind their team-mates and committed to giving their best shot.

“Wouldn’t it be a real shot in the arm if the people running our game could do the same?”