Uefa yesterday signalled a route for top-flight leagues to be ‘called’, ensuring an access route to the Champions and Europa Leagues for qualifying teams. Their official line – everyone’s official line, including Celtic’s – remains that leagues should be completed where possible, but that outcome remains highly unlikely.
When parties conflict during negotiations or a dispute, one will often have a deadline working against them. Having taken the null and void outcome off the table, the SPFL have given themselves time, unlike their principle protagonists, who have deadlines looming.
If I was Neil Doncaster, I would wait until the final possible moment before the Premiership is called. If the SPFL board called the league on Friday, it would be too late to provide prize money to cover April wages, but it is likely several of the league’s cash-impaired clubs will need this money to be released by the middle of next month.
I would be happy to wait until early June, when every theoretical possibility is exhausted. Do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing. Make Celtic wait, give football every possible chance, there is no hurry. If the SPFL waits, their preparedness in providing for the lower leagues and patience over the Premiership will be unimpeachable.
Maybe Budge and Park could apply to the League for a loan? Just an ideal, to help them through the period without prize money.