Glenafton Athletic boss Craig McEwan says he cannot understand why fans should not be allowed to return ahead of the start of the new league season.

It comes as the kick-off for the new West of Scotland Football League was delayed until October 24 at the earliest following a vote by clubs as part of a survey.

The season was due to commence on October 10 with Glenafton set to face Largs Thistle on the opening day but with the survey also finding that 70 per cent of clubs in the region would not support a return until fans are allowed back, organisers had no option but to delay.

Glens boss McEwan, who works in the health and social care sector, believes it is viable to have fans back at grounds across the region in a safe way.

He said: “It’s clear to me that we are not going to be starting with fans anytime soon and that is a sucker blow for clubs like ourselves that rely on the revenue they generate.

“I am very fortunate that our club have planned for this eventuality. We have not buried our heads in the sand in the hope fans would be allowed back in for the first league game so we have measures in place, but these are short-term measures only.

“I still don’t know why we cannot start with fans at the ground if it is a safe environment. Normally we would get around 150-200 fans attending so it is absolutely viable to have them socially distanced around our park.

“For me not having fans back has to be a short-term measure, otherwise there will be severe repercussions at our level.”

Due to the delay in the league starting, teams in the Premier Division of the WoSFL have been split into two groups initially to prevent a backlog of fixtures.

The Glens will face Auchinleck Talbot, Irvine Meadow, Kilbirnie Ladeside, Clydebank, Largs Thistle, Benburb, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, Bonnyton Thistle and Blantyre Victoria.

McEwan said: “I am sick to the back teeth of hearing that’s great for Glenafton. I think that is really disrespectful to the teams in our half. From our point of view we just need to be ready.”