THE Ovens and Murray Football-Netball league is prepared to push back the start of the season until as late as early August.
The league presented clubs with three alternative start dates at a meeting last week as the evolving coronavirus pandemic changes almost on a daily basis.
The three proposed start dates are June 27, July 25 and August 8.
All three proposals comprise nine rounds enabling clubs to play each other once.
The finals series will be shortened if the season starts after June 27.
IN OTHER NEWS
Lavington was set to unveil its fifth premiership flag this weekend in its season opener against Wodonga.
Panthers president Mark Sanson said it was a strange feeling to be instead dealing with the uncertainty of whether the season will even begin.
"The positive out of the meeting was that all clubs are on the same page and want football to be played in 2020 if possible," Sanson said.
"Credit to the O&M for considering a range of options.
"Every club was willing to listen to different options.
"The biggest concern from the clubs is losing their revenue streams particularly over Easter and when the weather is good.
"In these uncertain times everything is up in the air and some clubs did express a start date of August 8 might be unrealistic."
Myrtleford president Ian Wales echoed Sanson's thoughts.
"Everyone wants to play but you wake up each day and the goal posts have been moved in what you can and can't do in regards to the coronavirus," he said.
"Personally I'm of the opinion prepare for a June 27 start date and if it gets delayed, deal with that then.
"My worst fear is clubs have to look at the big picture and not be just worried about self preservation.
"I could be wrong but I got the impression some clubs are only worried about themselves and not the league as a whole.
"The last thing we want is we lose one or two clubs.
"I feel without 10 clubs competing in the O&M it would soon become a Mickey Mouse competition.
"I've been involved with Myrtleford for 45 years and we have had some shocking teams and some shocking years.
"But we have never been kicked out of the league. The only way you can get booted is if you end up broke."
A condensed finals series of three weeks was also discussed at the meeting.
The format proposed is a final eight with the highest ranked side playing the lowest ranked.
The four losers would be eliminated in the opening week with the remaining four sides playing two preliminary finals in the second week.
The two winners would then clash in the decider.
The ace up the O&M's sleeve in regards to not clashing with the cricket season is Albury, Corowa-Rutherglen and Yarrawonga don't have cricket played on their ovals.
The Lavington Oval redevelopment is also expected to be completed by August and could provide the league with another finals venue.