Ardrossan Winton Rovers will NOT play in this year’s inaugural West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL) due to concerns over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The club, who were due to play in Conference C of the new set-up, were among nine clubs including Kilbirnie Ladeside to withdraw from the league this season which will start on October 24.

Winton’s board released a statement on Sunday night confirming their withdrawal and highlighted their concerns over the health and safety of players and the financial impact of playing without fans.

The club’s chairman Pat Breen told the Herald: “We reluctantly decided to withdraw from the league after a lengthy discussion on Sunday.

“We are a community club and how could we survive without any fans?. We need the revenue from that and we have to think about the health and wellbeing of our committee members and players who are expected to turn up and get changed at the side of the park and travel back in tough weather conditions without having a shower.

“For us, there were too many restrictions and it is meant to be enjoyable but it was not fun to play.

“Clubs will not be playing for any promotion or relegation so it will just be glorified friendlies.

“We wanted the league to be delayed a bit longer but teams have voted to start on October 24 and why they want to go ahead with the restrictive measures in place is beyond me.

“We are going into winter and boys will end up ill without a shower and proper facilities.

“Stevie Wilson is fully supportive of the decision we have made and trying to keep the boys together.

“We are all disappointed we have to withdraw in what is our 120th anniversary year but we feel we have made the right decision.”

While Winton have withdrawn from this season’s WoSFL, Kilwinning Rangers WILL compete in the Premier Division of the new set-up.

Boss Chris Strain said: “This has been the longest pre-season we have ever had.

“We have not had a competitive match since March. The boys are desperate to get going and it gives us something to look forward to.”