Gary Holt pleads for clarity as Livingston boss says ‘until further notice’ hiatus has left clubs in limbo

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GARY HOLT has criticised the Scottish FA and SPFL for a lack of clarity as the Livingston boss warned that the financial consequences of a lengthy shut-down could be felt for years to come.

The joint response group set up by the governing bodies announced on Friday that all fixtures would be postponed ‘until further notice’ amid the escalating threat posed by the coronavirus.

Holt accepts that decision was necessary but has been irked by the failure to put any sort of date for when the hiatus would be re-examined, insisting every team in the country has been left in a state of limbo.

Only this weekend’s fixtures and the subsequent midweek card have been officially called off meaning, in theory, Livi – who were due to host Hearts on Sunday – could be back in action against Aberdeen next Saturday.

And Holt has demanded that the powers-that-be flesh out their statement with more concrete details.

He said: “It’s something that needs to be looked at, and I’m sure they are. But I hope it doesn’t take days [for clarification]. It can’t be another couple of days and it can’t be another week. Get your head together and come up with something that is more definitive.

“I’ve read the phrase ‘until further notice’. Who’s notice? And can we narrow it down? Is it going to be nine months or two days?

“I would like to know why would couldn’t follow suit with England, and other countries, who postponed football until a certain date. If they extend it at that point, then so be it.

“It’s not just the football players, you have office staff, cleaners, groundsman. It effects everything in the building. We are getting our head around this, and doing all we can to prevent the spread of the virus, but we also don’t want to grind to a halt.

“We need a plan in place to give clubs the ability to look forward.”

Amid the uncertainty, Holt has told his players to return home for the weekend and report for training as normal on Monday morning.

CONSEQUENCES

However, the prognosis of experts in the field give little hope that Scottish football with return to any semblance of normality in the next seven days, raising the prospect of an extended suspension or, at best, games being played behind closed doors.

Even the latter would have a devastating effect on many SPFL clubs who live hand-to-mouth and rely upon gate receipts.

Holt continued: “It’s not just us – this is going to have a huge financial impact on all clubs.

“It’s a tough to quantify that right now, I’ve not got my head around it, but it will be tough for us all and could have knock-on consequences for years.

“We live within our means so I’d hope that gives us a base, but we’d need to see how this all pans out.”