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.

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  1. ernie lynch



    I know all that and more. The question posed of course was about the relative threat, not about the fact that there is an existing one.

  2. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    A revealing throwaway remark from Matt Chapman on itv racing, to shame Scottish race-goers today, I thought.



    On his experience in the on-course betting ring at the Scottish Grand National, “…beer dumped over me and sworn at, all afternoon.”



    Could we not stick to asking him for better tips?

  3. Ray Singh-Carr on

    Was musing whilst walking earlier about the possible long-term effects of a prolonged break in matches. Obviously a great many costs still have to be met, player and employee salaries, stadium upkeep etc.


    We are clearly well-placed to absorb this hit whereas our neighbours are in a much more parlous position.


    If it drags on, bearing in mind their finances are already stretched to breaking point, they could conceivably head towards administration.


    Were that to happen they would be faced with the dilemma of sticking with the continuity myth and accepting a 25 point deduction as it would be their second admin, or admitting that they are a new club and insisting on a mere 15 point loss.


    25 points might well see them struggle to finish 2nd and obtain a realistic possibility of Europe League qualification whereas with a mere 15 points they might just stumble over the line to runners-up.


    One can only begin to imagine whether or not Moreorless’s hunger to play is plummeting faster than his resale value, and all that time the likes of Defoe, Davis, McGregor and Arfield tramp farther into their 30s and the ignominy they so richly deserve.


    With Liverpool being in a similar position to us there seems to me to be little chance that the 2 teams could be treated differently, and it seems unthinkable that they will not be crowned Champions however the calculations are done.


    Irrespective of how the next few months pans out, worst case scenario for us would seem to be that we simply defer getting to 10IAR by 12 months whereas the connotations for Sevco and their flimsy finances are much less savoury. And that pleases me greatly.




  4. Talk of legal challenges if the season is declared finished as is seem to ignore the league’s rule book which permits the board to decide when the league finishes.



    Exceptional circumstances but that’s why rules often allow for freedom of movement when necessary.

  5. Ray Singh- Carr- No deference we deserve to be champions, we should get what we deserve.



    No ifs no buts.



    D. :)

  6. Hopefully P67 gets some time over the coming weeks to write a piece on the Adidas deal.



    This great news has understandably been overlooked.

  7. The expected postponement of EURO 2020 would allow leagues across Europe to extend their ‘season’. The “season” according to the Regulations of the SPFL state …


    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 Season


    Say the football resumes on first weekend in May, then 4 weekend and 4 midweek games and the season completed by end of May.


    Scottish cup is 3 games – 2 midweek and weekend Final so add another another week and the 2019/20 season can be completed on no more than 6 weeks and by first weekend in June with a 1st May start.


    Obviously if the season recommences later, I still think 5/6 weeks would complete all outstanding fixtures.


    Might be that international fixtures take a back seat to allow domestic and European fixtures catch up.

  8. Surely if Sevco bring in next season’s season ticket money early then their is no chance they will be imminently going into Admin.



    In fact this would be the period where they are most flush albeit for a short period only.



    As for the null void campaign, that would mean Sevco would lose all coefficient points but i guess they would see that as a price to pay to stop Celtic winning 9 in a row.

  9. But that is the point Sid, with this season unfinished and no certainty re net year’s League will any Club including ourselves, sell the bulk of their Season Tickets.

  10. embramike



    UEFA to host Video Conference on Tuesday, St Patrick’s Day. The Euro play-offs, eg Scotland-Israel match still seems to be listed as on. Sold out too. Maybe the SFA is waiting for somebody else, ie the SNP government to ban it, and allow them to keep the ticket money.

  11. Uncertainty over next season start date may delay or reduce season ticket renewals.



    Football clubs will want certainty and a start date for next season asap.



    Various preferences can be outlined for this season but I personally think the football is finished. I hope I’m wrong, like everyone else I want to be there for trophy day and had the flights booked.



    But this is our title and I’ll cherish it every bit as much as the previous 15 I’ve watched us win regardless of how things work out.

  12. Even assigning prices to season tickets will be fraught with difficulty as there will be considerable doubt regarding the number of fixtures to be played next season.

  13. How absolutely, totally, perfectly…………… Lovely……


    will it be……….


    when the “Liverpool Formula” has to be applied……………as the real world will be watchin’…………


    and the Bhoys are rightfully crowned Champs?



    McNugget an’ his imaginary freens wull be seek………




  14. My wife came back from the shops with cocktail sausages, mini quiches, precut sandwiches – she’d been out picnic buying.

  15. VP, Eye of the Condor, quite a hit not going – the Swiss Government done a step towards the right thing on Friday —- right after I’d sorted all the things that needed sorted.



    We are all gutted but Realise it wisnae the right Time.



    Aidan should have won but I think I won technically 18-17.



    God Bless ye VP for the sanitiser as I had touched so many common touch things on a moving train – just to steady maself. :))



    Respect CQN Great.

  16. All Churches in our area closed. No Public Masses until the end of the month at the earliest

  17. Gene, Not sure how many positive in Uk but I guess its in excess of 1000. Surprised Government are so slow to move.

  18. Corkcelt


    Strange – it seems that we are trying to get 60% infected to get herd immunity.

  19. Corkcelt



    I’m not surprised – this a Tory government with a nutchob called Cummings in charge. The aim is to gain something mythical called ‘herd immunity’ – a sound idea if the virus is totally understood but this one isn’t. They hope that the old and poor will go – it’s what Torres do!

  20. Corkcelt



    I think we’ll soon see Sevco with the begging bowl out asking their fans for help regardless that everything is up in the air.

  21. The Conservatives are the party that gave the world the policy of Laissez-faire when dealing with a human catastrophe of famine. Their ministers wrote about the opportunities presented to them by the deaths of hundreds of thousands.



    I don’t think they’ve changed too much since.

  22. ” Sutherland no more,…………….


    ………………………..Wee Bawwy, no more……………….


    Craigan , no more………


    ……….Doddsy….no more


    Big Packeeeeeeeeeeeeee…no mower…….!”

  23. Story of the late Glen Campbell starting on Sky arts, quite sad to begin with he obviously had dementia when filming this.



    D. :)

  24. When talking of football, there seems to be a general belief that this virus will have disappeared in a couple of months. I am far from certain that that is the case.


    Anyway, early night for me so cheerio for now.

  25. If the season is done and we are awarded the Title they will imo allow Hearts to stay up and promote Dundee Utd and possibly one other to make the next season a 13/14 team League. It takes the Hearts issue off the table.



    If the season kicks off in this calendar year the 2020 Scottish cup still could be completed from its current position and the League Cup could revert to its former finish time in March.

  26. fairhill bhoy on

    Mod2-I appreciate my get out of jail card thank you


    I honestly think I was worse than GFTB,don’t know if he said anything that was deleted


    But obviously don’t want the guy red carded.He was my reason for posting in the first place(88)


    Anyway my dad was 80 today,happy birthday Bernard my hero 💚

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