MORTON captain Jim McAlister has bemoaned the decision made my the football authorities to postpone games for the foreseeable future amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The midfielder believes that the decision came at the wrong time with the call to suspend Scottish football announced on Friday lunchtime, nearly 24 hours before they were due to take on league leaders Dundee United at Cappielow, with the worst of the virus yet to hit the UK.

The 34-year-old admits he fears for clubs across the country who are reliant on matchday revenue.

He told the Tele: “I thought that last year was going to be a rollercoaster and that was tough, but this is up there with one of the most mentally straining seasons of my career.

“It’s really frustrating to have a call made like that. 

“We were really looking forward to the last handful of games, especially the one on Saturday against Dundee United because we’ve been in good form and they’d have brought through a good travelling support.

“It’s as if they’re [the SFA] following everybody else’s lead instead of taking a bit of initiative themselves.

“It’s really frustrating but all we can do is play it by ear, take it a day or a week at a time and just wait for what the authorities decide to do.

“We’ve been told that we’re still to report for training and to get in and out, which is good because I’d rather keep training and keep my sharpness up.

“If the games do start again, you’d rather keep ticking over instead of doing a mini pre-season all over again just to get your fitness back up to a reasonable level, because that will take more time in a restricted window.

“I know a lot of clubs have given players ten days off, from what I’ve heard, so if we have to go in, then so be it because it’s good to keep ticking over until the end of next week to see where we are with things.

“Clubs are going to struggle and that’s a terrifying prospect.

“You look at the bigger clubs, who will still suffer, but at least they already have their season ticket money in. 

“But clubs like Morton rely on punters paying at the gate on a Saturday, pie money, programmes and raffle tickets being sold.

“There’s a lot of money that changes hands, but as far as we’re aware the club are mostly covered because we asked the other day as soon as we found out, so I think for the short term anyway, the club will manage to get by.

“Clubs who are only attracting 400-500 fans a week are at a real risk because they’re still having to pay their players wages, because they’ve got families to feed at home. 

“It’s like any walk of life, so hopefully it can come away as quickly as it came on.

“I’m sure the other lads will be the same in saying that they want to play, but personally I just want to be able to enjoy it and give a bit back to the club on the park.”