LIKE millions of footballers and fans across the world, Ant McTaggart is discovering just how empty Saturdays feel without the beautiful game.

The suspension of Scottish football has left many clubs facing an uncertain long-term future as fanatics try to find a way in the interim to plug the gap.

Sauchie Juniors' players are no different and stalwart McTaggart, who has had to place himself in self-isolation after his son showed symptoms, admits it has been a strange few weeks.

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“It is a very difficult situation but I know it is not just me and it is affecting a lot of people around the world," the 26-year-old said.

“It is pretty rubbish without the football and that is always the escape; I’ll watch anything when it’s on.

"I have been self-isolating since Wednesday. My kid goes to a childminder and one of the women who works there had the symptoms.

“The wee man had a cough that day but he does get that quite often, especially after swimming.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all pubs, bars, and restaurants to close Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all pubs, bars, and restaurants to close

“But because he has a cough now they are taking no chances. I had to phone my work and tell them and they then told me I the whole house would have to isolate for 14 days.

“There’s nothing even wrong with me and that’s when you realise how serious it is. I never thought I would have to take 14 days off my work just cause the wee man has a cough.

“That’s the rules and you need to stick to it."

As both the British and Scottish Governments have stepped up measures to tackle the virus' spread in recent weeks, culminating in a ban on pubs, bars and restaurants opening from Friday, thousands of people have been left jobless as industries struggle to cope with a drop in revenue.

Football is no different and Premiership Heart of Midlothian asked all staff to take a 50 per cent pay cut in order to avoid unnecessary redundancies.

No one is suggesting Sauchie are likely to be on the receiving end of the economic downturn themselves, but McTaggart does admit it is a worrying time for everyone.

“With the bars the clubs all shut, it is just crazy," he said. "You have seen it over the last few weeks with closures and stuff with airlines and it really is a dodgy time for a lot of people.

“It is worrying and worrying for peoples’ jobs. We are okay at Sauchie as we don’t get our wages when we don’t play and the likes of Fras [Duncan, manager], Karl [Rennie, chairman], and Noel [Dalli, honorary president] are all really clued up.

“We will be alright but you see clubs like Hearts who are asking people to cut their wages and it really is a worrying time for many clubs.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Sauchie chairman Karl Rennie Sauchie chairman Karl Rennie

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a while either and it is still unclear what will happen when we go back. It’s alright doing your own thing and going out for a run but we will need to do a mini pre-season.

“It’s a crazy situation and it is pretty crap for all the boys right now. You are obviously missing training and getting to see the boys.

“Everyone is missing the football and that’s what so many of us do - spend our lives playing and watching football.

“The Mrs was saying to me that I am lost without it and she is right. I don’t know what I am going to do.

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“Everyone is doing their own wee bit [to keep fit] and I wouldn’t imagine anyone will not take care of themselves, even if it is just doing something in the house.

“There are more important things to life than football and there are peoples’ jobs at risk and people are dying.

“That’s the most important thing and football is good but it is just a wee bonus. We would rather folk had their lives and their jobs than just playing a wee game of football."