Snow and ice the only winners as sport goes into hibernation

AS the big freeze continues football bosses are being left to sweat it out over training costs and a fixtures backlog.

Pitches remained unplayable over the weekend and, for the fourth week in a row, almost all local sport was put on ice.

Gerry Marley, manager of Campsie Black Watch, said: "The last game we played was a Scottish Cup tie on November 20 so at least we managed to get that out of the way.

"It's a real problem because we have to find places for the team to play and that costs money.

"We also had six players stranded in Motherwell for three weeks.

"We have a Scottish Cup quarter final to play on January 20 and we could get pitched straight into that having not played a game for two months."

Meanwhile, Rob Roy manager John Richardson is urging fans to support the club when his team eventually take to the pitch.

He said: "There seems to be no end to this weather and the boys are all itching to get a game.

"We've organised bounce games on the last three Mondays just hoping for a thaw, but they've all had to be cancelled.

"There's a chance of football on December 27 and January 3 but, realistically, it's looking like January 8 before we get a game.

"I'd appeal to the supporters to come out in force to support Rob Roy when the time comes. Like 80 per cent of teams we are getting no income at the moment and are having to shell out 52.50 every time we train indoors."

This is the second consecutive year where weather has played havoc with the football fixtures, leading some to call for a winter break and summer football.

But both managers believe that it would cause more problems than it would solve.

John Richardson said: "Something has to be done, but I don't think there will be summer football in my time.

"With part-time sides the summer is the only time that working guys can take a holiday and if you had a winter break when would you have it?

"Last season winter didn't turn up until the end of January whereas this season we've had it from November – the weather is in the hands of the gods."

Gerry Marley added: "I read in the papers every other week about summer football, but the parks need to be brought in line over the summer. Football needs to stop to allow the work to be carried out and keep them in decent condition."