WITH the current COVID-19 health concerns seemingly not getting better anytime soon, the Football Association of Wales must act accordingly and put grassroots clubs out of their misery.

The governing body hasn’t yet ruled out the prospect of anything below the top-three tiers of the Welsh pyramid beginning their respective campaigns at some stage, but lessons need to be learned from the first lockdown period that eventually finished with the curtailment of the domestic season.

This wasn’t before plenty of carrots were dangled about the prospect of getting back underway. However, such false hope will not be welcomed this time around, and especially now everybody – the FAW included – know more about coronavirus and the potential risk of infection.

The powers that be have been focused primarily on the JD Cymru Premier, which is probably down in no small part to the financial implications involved. They’ll strive to get the league up to its minimum number of games required for the all-important UEFA money and if that means putting clubs lower down the pecking order out of luck, then so be it.

It has not been easy for any grassroots club over the last year. Most are dealing with significant financial hardship, a decreasing lack of enthusiasm from players, volunteers and managers alike amid the “new normal” and this has the potential to cause substantial problems to the domestic game moving forward.

Taking care of the ‘elite’ is one thing.

But how many of those players who reach the top start out at the very bottom?

The answer is many. Youth and local football are a vital component to the development of youngsters who go onto great things, but if the FAW continues to leave clubs hanging with a distinct lack of communication, everybody involved could pay a heavy price.

His was a view shared by Martyn Jones, manager of Penmaenmawr Phoenix last week in an interview with the North Wales Pioneer. But I have spoken to many managers and coaches over the last few months during the most unprecedented of times and their disillusionment with the current situation has been prevalent throughout.

Cutting their losses now might save them later on.

And it is something the FAW now must do at the earliest possible opportunity.

Unless they’re planning on summer football, it is the only option.

It might be tough to hear, but if they give out the false hope that came with such a fierce backlash following the end of the previous campaign, then the organisation will have failed its bread and butter for a second time.