Scottish football at rock bottom with government, says former FM

Glasgow City chief executive Laura Montgomery reacts to the SWPL being suspended

Scottish football's relationship with government has hit "rock bottom", says former first minister Henry McLeish.

The Scottish FA announced on Monday that football outside the top two divisions of the SPFL would be suspended until February amid rising coronavirus infections in Scotland.

News of the decision broke around the time Celtic announced 13 players were isolating over a positive case.

McLeish says the Scottish government "doesn't trust" the SFA and SPFL.

"The relationships with government are rock bottom," the former Scottish Labour leader and one-time East Fife footballer told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"What have the lower leagues done to create this kind of crisis? Nobody was consulted. Chairmen of the clubs heard about this the same time it was going out to the press."

Scottish Leagues 1 and 2 as well as the SWPL 1 and 2 divisions will not play during the suspension.

However, SWPL1 champions Glasgow City hope to be given permission to continue training.

"I've already asked our governing body to ask of the SFA that we're not discriminated against - that we're not treated any differently from the men's Championship clubs," chief executive Laura Montgomery told BBC Scotland.

"We are more than willing to pay for the weekly testing so that we can continue to train. I fully understand that our league as a whole probably can't do the same - and on that basis we certainly can't continue league games.

"It can't be one rule for one and one rule for another - particularly when we're talking male and female professional teams here.

"I can't emphasise enough how important it is for the health and wellbeing of the players and particularly their mental health that we do everything we can to continue to train."

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