BLUNDERING UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is poised to perform a dramatic u-turn – and his change of stance is likely to see Celtic crowned champions for the ninth successive season.
The Euro supremo recently fired out a blunt warning to the 55 associations that they MUST find a way to complete their season in the midst of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Ceferin and Co were angered by the Belgian FA’s decision to call the campaign to a halt and award the championship to Clubb Brugge, who were 15 points clear of Mikael Lustig’s club Gent.
That brought the extraordinary response from UEFA that the nation’s clubs could be banned from future European competitions.
The remarkable knee-jerk reaction from the game’s governing body was heavily criticised by many, including former Celtic goal hero Chris Sutton who slammed their “bullying” tactics, as CQN reported.
JUST CHAMPION…Leigh Griffiths and skipper Scott Brown celebrate one of Celtic’s eight successive title successes.
Ceferin, however, has now relented and confessed that domestic leagues around the continent may have to consider cancelling the remainder of their seasons.
The bungling boss has been forced to admit for the first time that there may be no option but for each country to declare their own champions without another ball being kicked – as long as UEFA are kept up to date with their decision.
Ceferin was ridiculed after originally urging all leagues to re-start as early as June. His sudden change of direction in his thinking appeared in an interview with a Slovenian paper and could influence emergency SPFL board discussions scheduled to take place by conference call today as the Scottish game searches for a solution to the crisis.
It’s expected that a proposal to call an end the 2019/10 season and hand Neil Lennon’s side the title will be high on the agenda. This could be a crucial day for the Parkhead side who were, of course, 13 points clear at the Premiership pinnacle with only eight games remaining and odds-on favourites to lift the 51st flag in their history.
PARADISE…the Premiership trophy on Celtic Way – waiting for collection for the ninth year in a row.
Reflecting on the situation in the Premier League, with Jurgen Klopp’s side just two wins away from a first league success in 30 years, Ceferin, speaking in a report in the Daily Record, said: “I can’t see a way Liverpool could be left without a title. If the Premier League resumes, Liverpool will almost certainly win the title. Theoretically, it’s not all over, but practically Liverpool are on the verge of it.
“If by any chance the play will not resume, we still have to find a way to declare final results, to declare champions.
“I can’t imagine a scenario in which the champions wouldn’t be Liverpool. I understand fans will be disappointed if it happens in an empty stadium or even in the league offices, but they’ll get the title one way or another.”
Ceferin then stressed UEFA will not advise any league how to end their season if football cannot resume over the summer.
He added: “I was speaking hypothetically. We’ll be ready for such scenarios, but we’re not working on the details of them right now. We are focused on bringing the competitions to the end on the fields of play.
“We can’t allow anyone to make their own decisions without consulting and talking to UEFA. We can’t allow a league to simply declare that it will no longer play, while also determining who will play in our competitions.”