MIKE Mulraney has promised Alloa will survive a “challenging time for the club” after Scottish football was placed into lockdown.

The Scottish FA board announced on Friday morning all domestic, professional, and grassroots football has been suspended in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

It means the Wasps face the possibility of losing out on crucial match day revenue for an extended period of time, which is certain to cost clubs across the country thousands of pounds. 

It comes the day after the number of people confirmed with coronavirus - also known as Covid-19 - in Forth Valley rose to six. 

Alloa chairman Mulraney, who is also the Scottish FA vice president, says the team’s contingency plans are for more than just a “week or two” of disruption but insists the Clacks side will come out on the other side. 

“It will be difficult and we are in for a challenging time for the club,” he told Advertiser Sport. “We have got fantastic fans and they support the club through thick and thin, so we will be okay.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: It is unclear how long it will be before the Wasps are in action again It is unclear how long it will be before the Wasps are in action again

"That isn't to say it is going to be easy, because it is not. A huge amount of our income comes from gate receipts so it is massive for us and it will be a very, very significant challenge. But it will be on that Alloa will come through.

“It is too early to assess what it will mean for next season and we need to look and see what happens over the summer.

“At this point in time for all football clubs in Scotland it will be about making sure we are still here after the summer. And we will be.” 

The Wasps are in a relatively healthy financial position and last year posted profits of £17,000 - compared to the likes of Championship rivals Arbroath who lost more than £20,000 as of May 2019. 

But, Mulraney isn’t taking anything for granted and says the club will need the help of its fans to survive this “unprecedented time”. 

He said: “We aren’t going to do anything knee jerk and we know we are in for a time of change for running football.

“Clearly this has not happened since the Second World War, however, what I will say, is our club will survive; we have fantastic fans who stick by us, fans who come in and paint the club facilities every summer, we know they will.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

“Quite frankly, as long as we are all in it together then Alloa Athletic will be fine.

“Everyone at Alloa is very, very resilient. In the grand scheme of things, the whole of society is in for change and football will be no different.

“Alloa Athletic will be okay but we will be looking for, and we know we will get, the support of our fans.

“I would be surprised if it is weeks. I am not a medical professional but I would be surprised if it is just a week or two. That’s not what Alloa Athletic will be planning for.

“We will be resilient and we have already had the support of our fans and know we will be okay. But, we are going to plan to ensure no matter what happens Alloa Athletic is fine.” 

The Wasps are unlikely to train next week and it could still be some time before football returns to Clacks, with Sauchie Juniors’ action also postponed for the foreseeable future. 

And Mulraney believes people in the Wee County and across Scotland will soon realise how important football is to everyday life. 

“It is a part that people are only just going to find out how much it touches all of our lives and the whole of society,” he said. “That’s newspapers, pie huts, pubs, clubs, and local businesses that rely on their local football team to survive.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Ian Maxwell Ian Maxwell

“The nation is going to realise that is very, very significant for us all.”

Football bosses say this week's decision has been made in the interests of the ‘health and safety of players, match officials, staff, supporters and the general public’.

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive, said: “Since the guidance outlined by governments last night we have been engaged in extensive dialogue to clarify the position and implications of that guidance for Scottish football.

“Today’s (Friday) announcement is made in the interests of public health but, equally, the health and safety of players, match officials, and staff across the game. This is of paramount importance as the country enters the ‘delay’ phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is also why the Scottish FA is compelled to ensure that the suspension is cascaded through the non-professional and grassroots games until further notice.”

Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “As everyone knows, this is a fast-moving and unprecedented situation for the entire country.

“We have been in intensive and detailed discussions since last night and have also been taking on board the experience of our counterparts in England and across Europe. As a result, the board of the SPFL has agreed this morning that all league fixtures this weekend and next midweek will be postponed until further notice.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Neil DoncasterNeil Doncaster

“The health and safety of fans, players and officials is absolutely paramount. We have not yet had any confirmed cases of Coronavirus amongst players in Scotland, but, given the nature of this outbreak, it seems only a matter of time.

“We realise that many people will be bitterly disappointed, and we would obviously prefer to be in a position where we can continue as normal, but that’s neither realistic nor possible."