THE SPFL and other European countries have been given a May 25 deadline by UEFA to provide plans to restart their season.
UEFA’s Executive Committee are due to hold next conference call two days later when they intend to reach a decision over whether competitions can be completed in August
The European governing football body have issued guidelines to all 55 associations after an agreement last week that qualification for next season’s Champions League and Europa League must be decided on “sporting merit” this season, as CQN reported.
The guidance, issued by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis, states: “National associations and/or leagues should be in a position to communicate to UEFA by 25 May 2020 the planned restart of their domestic competitions including the date of restart and the relevant competition format.”
UEFA have also asked associations, such as the Dutch FA, to “explain the special circumstances justifying such premature termination” by the same deadline, in relation to the clubs it wants to compete in Europe next season.
The Hampden chiefs and their Belgian counterparts are also believed to be pondering an early call.
The SPFL yesterday called an EGM for May 12 with another ballot due among the 42 clubs following a call from Ibrox to a probe into the initial vote, as CQN reported.
They have already sounded the final whistle on the three divisions outwith the top flight with Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers awarded their respective titles while Partick Thistle and Stranraer relegated.
Celtic are on the brink of their ninth successive crown after leading the Premiership by 13 points with only eight games to play and a superior goal difference of plus 25 over their nearest challengers.
The club have already stressed they would prefer to clinch the history-equalling nine flag on the trot – emulating Jock Stein’s great side of 1966/74, but continued debates will delay the inevitable.
UEFA’s top officials will also be sympathetic to any league that is unable to provide clarity by May 25, due to ongoing government uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
Across the border, with Liverpool on the verge of a title success, the Premier League will hold further talks this week as it targets a return behind closed doors in June – and it has the backing of the government, when it is safe to do so.
All 20 clubs in the top division will hold their latest conference call on Friday and talks will resume over whether games must return at approved stadiums.