Forres Mechanics will not take part in 2020/21 Highland League season
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Forres Mechanics will not take part in this season's Highland League, the club has announced.
In a huge blow to the Highland League, a letter sent to secretary Rod Houston said the Mechanics board had unanimously agreed to pull out of the 2020/21 season.
The club cited the health and well-being of players, staff and extended families as the main reason behind the decision.
The letter sent to Mr Houston reads: "The board of Forres Mechanics FC met on the evening of November 5 and have unanimously agreed not to take part in the SHFL season 2020/21.
"The decision has not been taken lightly but we have put, above all other considerations, the health, wellbeing and safety of our players, staff and their immediate families along with the football club as a whole and, equally as important, the wider community of Forres and Moray."
Mechanics are, so far, the only team to pull out of the Highland League – which is due to get under way on November 28.
Players and management have been informed of the decision, with the club looking at furlough for all staff.
It is unclear whether players will be able to move to other clubs – potentially on loan – if the season goes ahead without Mechanics.