The chairman and manager of Ardrossan Winton Rovers have branded the return to football as “farcical” and “ridiculous”.

Winton, along with every other club in the new West of Scotland Football League, have started pre-season fixtures ahead of the delayed league season but have been forced to adhere to strict protocol due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Players are expected to turn up and go home in the same kit and are not allowed to use changing or dressing room facilities with no spectators allowed through the gates which has a huge financial impact .

Winton’s chairman Pat Breen believes the current guidelines have made it almost “impossible” to play a proper game and believes the league cannot start as it stands.

He said: “It’s not football – it is a nonsense. We have grown men having to turn up to play under restrictions, change outside in an enclosure, cannot get a shower, cannot use any of the facilities and we don’t have any spectators - it’s not right.

“ We have a couple more friendlies lined up and after that we are putting a halt to it because the league season has been pushed back to October 31.

“We can’t keep continuing with these friendlies. It is not feasible.

“The whole thing is farcical, and nobody seems to know where we are. It is not a criticism of the league as this situation is not under their control but it’s very frustrating. The players are desperate to start but under these conditions I cannot see that happening, especially when spectators are not allowed. That’s just a non-starter we need the income.”

Manager Stevie Wilson added: “It’s been ridiculous. From the football side it’s great as for 90 minutes you could forget about everything and get back to what you love.

“However, I find the rules on changing rooms and shower facilities crazy. How can you ask players to get ready at the side of a park in pouring rain and then ask them to travel back in that?

“A big part of football is the changing rooms as that’s where squads and relationships are built. I don’t understand it.”