Champions, Euro qualifiers and relegation must be decided


What happens in football over the next few months is shrouded in uncertainty, but we know enough to be able to narrow the field of possibilities down.  Uefa meet on Tuesday to discuss the crisis when they will almost certainly cancel the Euros, ending all online betting on Euro 2020, and confirm that no Champions League or Europa League games will take place between now and the summer.

Sorry to mention the dirty little subject, but the worldwide game is facing financial turmoil like never before (more on this later), having lost club and national Uefa games between now and the summer, all parties need to ensure that income-generating European competitions take place next season.  A new timetable will emerge, but basic necessity requires Uefa to come out of Tuesday’s meeting with a plan for next season’s Champions League and Europa League, at the very least.

In order to hold these competitions next season, individual countries need champions and qualifiers from other positions.  Whatever else remains unknown, we can be sure that next season’s Champions and Europa Leagues will be scheduled; champions will be determined by June or July at the latest.

Another fact we can be very sure of, it that epidemiology projections indicate no football will take place until July at the earliest.  This temporary postponement will become permanent before it expires.  National leagues are finished across Europe.

In Scotland and England, clear champions are in place.  If you are a Lazio fan, this looked like being your season, but the league is finished, Juventus’ tiny advantage will make them champions.

Hearts have blown their season but I do not think there is a single Hearts fan who would honestly object to relegation at this point.  When you set aside all the transient bluster, football fans know they need to take their medicine when they are not good enough.  We saw the same attitude in many Rangers fans eight years ago, who wanted Newco to start at the bottom of the pile, despite the financial advantages of getting a hand up.

Dundee United will be promoted.  A play-off between Hamilton Accies, Inverness, Dundee and Ayr United can be held immediately prior to the new season, to determine who plays in the top flight.  The Scottish Cup has three games left, this too can take place prior to kick-off next season.

Less than a week ago, I advocated playing the remainder of the season behind closed doors, but the health tsunami facing society makes that impossible.  Football will need all of the income it can get when normality resumes.  The critical path from that financial necessity determines that all countries need to know their champions and qualifiers for European competitions – and that means we have no choice but to draw the line now.

For years I have played over celebrating nine-in-a-row.  There will be no celebrations this year, in this respect, we have been robbed, but we all have far more important concerns right now.

We will cover the hugely significant financial implications of the crisis in the coming days.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 12

  1. Greenpinata, cheers mate. Everyone having a ball. Pubs full, French and Irish here as well.



    It should have been called off a week ago. But like most here it was booked in October.



    Birra Moretti is cool and plentiful.






  3. Seriously a lockdown which will come sooner rather than later will have a devestating effect on the owners of small businesses and as usual the poor in society.

  4. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    You’ll be relieved that the banks and corporations will be further supported with quantitative easing, so the trickle down effect will remain ineffectual.

  5. Who could have guessed that Alex Rae would predict the events of the Foinavon national 50 years after the event – must be something in that year of 1967

  6. Neustadt-Braw on

    thank you HT…..




    smiley I wonder what tobacco the lads used thing




  7. Celtic Mac on 14th March 2020 2:55 pm


    ‘Paul67 et al




    What scientific evidence is a ban on outdoor events based on? And I am not talking about projected numbers here, but rather about the relative degree of threat, one to the individual, and two to the wider community.’






    The risk of infection and further dispersal of the virus presumably depends on three factors



    1. the number of people attending who are infected and shedding virus.



    2. the extent to which each infected person is shedding virus (apparently widely variable).



    3. the proximity to one another of those attending and duration of that proximity.



    Factors 1 and 2 are unknown and can’t really be estimated with any degree of accuracy because there has been no sample testing, but would be the same whether a venue is indoors or outdoors.



    So far as factor 3 is concerned, the working rule of thumb seems to be that if you are within six feet of someone who is infected for more than twenty minutes then you have a problem. I estimate that for those attending CP, as an example we are probably all most familiar with, you’d be within six feet of fourteen people for about two hours.



    That of course doesn’t include people you’d be cheek by jowl with at the turnstiles, on the concourse, on the stairways, or in the toilets. Or travelling to the venue, or being in a pub or restaurant prior to or afterwards, not always the most hygienic of venues.



    Bottom line is mass events don’t reduce the risk of spread and probably increase it to a greater or lesser extent. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for someone to produce reliable statistics so on a precautionary basis mass events should be cancelled.



    If that upsets some, so be it.

  8. EspiritoDeCelt on

    There are rumours the EPL will accomodate 22 teams next season due to the Covid situation. Given this a number of oher blogs have been discussing if the SPFL could do a league reconstuction. I have came up with a new league format suggestion that I sent to the Celtic Noise and comprises of a 16 team SPFL with a 3-way split after 30 games each. It would work as follows after the 30 games:



    Group 1 (top 4 teams): The champions and EURO group. each team plays each other twice making 6 intense high-level fixtures after the split with each team having played a clean 36 game season. All top 4 teams win a Euro place. Also make the end of season games higher quality.



    Group 2 (middle 8 teams): The middle-tier group: each team plays 7 fixtures and the making a total league season of 37 games. The team finishing top of the middle tier (and 5th in the overall league standings) gets the 5th Scottish European place which will be the


    new Confederations Cup.



    Group 3 (bottom 4 teams0: The relegation tier: again each team plays each other twice making 6 fixtures after the split with each team playing a 36 game league season.



    What does anyone think of this 16 team 3-way split format?

  9. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    just say it, it was one of the stupidest things said today. What fn evidence is there that infectious disease spreads in crowds ffs.


    Jesus h

  10. EspiritoDeCelt on

    Absolutely no chance the SPFL will be null and voided. though I daresay that the SPF and SFA will be hitherto updating their future league legal position on the conditions required for a null and void season or on the condition required to stop the league short of the proscribed set of 38 fixtures per team. As has already been commented making this season null means that we have not entrants into next seasons European competitions and no way to properly apportion prize money. Never gonna happen, so I guess fixtures being played in May or June or a ceasation of any games this season and the the existing league positiosn will stand. Its one of 2 options for me.

  11. Hi Paul67,



    Interesting take on the European domestic leagues and next Seasons entry for the European competitions.



    If there isn’t anymore football this season, and I’m not sure UEFA won’t try to rescue the Euros, then we have interesting scenarios…



    My take is, and I think most bhoys and ghirls will eventually agree, that crowning teams Champions and relegating Clubs with more than a 1/4 of the league still to play will be absurd.



    Of course using the current league positions to determine who qualifies for next seasons European and other competitions less absurd but still fraught.



    What of teams like Wolves and Lyon still in European competitions but won’t qualify for Europe next season under this scenario.



    No, I think we have to roll back and 2020/21 starts from 2018/19 positions.



    It maybe tough on Clubs like Lazio and Leicester City but it’s the fairest way.



    Hail Hail

  12. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Strange days to live through. No doubt to become stranger.



    Celtic have shown in the last three Decembers, it’s feasible to play nine games over a single calendar month. A five week window in the early autumn should be sufficient to clear the entire 2019/2020 schedule. Shame it won’t happen.



    Good to see Italy isn’t at 3°C with rain falling in vertical sheets. I don’t even have a verandah.



    Amazing upbeat nurses and staff at Gartnavel this morning. God bless us all.

  13. An extension to the season will mean clubs may need to address the issue for players’ contracts up at the end of May – the normal end of the season (clubs don’t play into June).


    If the league / play offs are extended over the summer, new / temp contracts will have to be negotiated particularly in lower leagues

  14. ADI_DASSLER @ 4:50 PM,



    Why not? I think that’s where most Eurpean leagues are, certainly the “big” ones…



    Hail Hail

  15. One good outcome of a season extension might be the dropping of the transfer window and signing deadlines due to difficulties with offering specific contracts ?

  16. Another thing for me to worry about; Player contracts end dates.



    Fraser Forster – 30th June


    Craig Gordon – 31st May


    Moritz Bauer – 31st May


    Mohamed Elyounoussi – 31st May


    Jonny Hayes – 31st May

  17. Phil has posted a new article which includes this on page 23 of the Spfl rules – the last bit appears to give the board the right to determine the completion date of the league.




    Season means the period of the year commencing on the date of the first League


    Match in a Season and ending on the date of the last League Match in the same


    Season or otherwise as determined by the Board and which excludes the Close



  18. I’m sure we can trust these



    The main Board consists of eight members: the Scottish FA Office Bearers (Rod Petrie, President; Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive; and Michael Mulraney, Vice President), plus Neil Doncaster (PGB), Duncan Fraser (PGB), Thomas McKeown (NPGB) and independent non-executive directors, Ana Stewart and Malcolm Kpedekpo.

  19. !!Bada Bing!! on



    Who would win an I.Q. test between Kris Boyd and Alex Rae?



    Charlie Miller

  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Anyway, the bigger picture is Ant and Dec,can’t give away any more seats on the plane,fkn disaster.

  21. Trump being tested for the virus – perhaps they’ll check for a brain while they’re at it.

  22. Pog


    Saw it in London when it first came out – fantastic


    Enjoy but don’t hold your breath for Clarence

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 12