Uefa meet as football faces biggest challenge since advent of professionalism


Two weeks on from their initial coronavirus videoconference, Uefa, their 55 constituent national associations, the European Club Association, FIFPro (the international players’ association) and other related parties will reconvene by video tomorrow to discuss the findings from working parties set up to identify ways forward for the game during the crisis.

Two weeks is a long time in this crisis; clubs will now realise there is little chance of spectator events taking place in June.  When the sport resumes, it is likely to be behind closed doors, perhaps until the end of the year, threatening the viability of all cash-poor clubs dependent on ticket and other match day revenue.

Whatever ails the game, the crisis has a more profound impact on the health and livelihoods of the general population.  Unknown thousands will die and scores of employers will close in the retail and leisure sector alone.  In this context, a few hundred European football clubs seems irrelevant, but their viability is what Uefa will try to address tomorrow.

In a show of solidarity, players at several elite clubs in Spain, Italy and Germany have agreed to take substantial pay cuts.  These actions allow their clubs to chart a course forward, but adoption lacks uniformity.

Odious English PFA chief Gordon Taylor (75), who reportedly earns over £2m per year and faced repeated calls from Chris Sutton and others to resign, has promised to obstruct English Football League clubs attempts to defer payment of wages, never mind cut them.

What happens at the elite level will be inconsequential to the lifestyles of many, but 90% of players and their clubs do not work at the elite level.  Like the rest of us, they are staring into the unknown.  Clubs and FIFPro will try to do what they can to recommend a deal that can be uniformly rolled out, while allowing the sport to be mothballed for the duration.  This will take some creative thinking and involve getting high-value TV product on screens as soon and as often as possible, which itself opens up broadcast contracts and schedules.

There are too many layers to this mess for things to be resolved by 100 people meeting by video.  Football continues unaffected in some Uefa jurisdictions, where governments feel immune to viral realities.  Those who have agreed salary cuts will be happy for others to fret, while TV companies come to terms with the loss of content and revenue this season, and that they are likely to be the game’s only saviour going forward.

Our immediate concerns: nine-in-a-row and all that’s associated with it, are important, but goodness, football faces its biggest challenge since the advent of professionalism 150 years ago.  There will be winners and losers from what happens next.  If any club plans for the unexpected it’s Celtic.  I’m hoping our corporate strategy over the last 20 years or so leaves us in a strong position.

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  1. Happy Wednesday eve all from a still freakishly mild Kentucky. 



    The bees are up but there isn’t a lot of pollen for them right now. 



    The latest text game we have been playing is make a Bob a Bob Dylan song (we are all fans) into a Covid-19 related song. 



    Tangled Up In Flu


    Visons of Corona


    It’s Alright Ma ( I tested Negative) 


    I shall Be Released (no change, just appropriate!)



    No need for the fine minds to just stick with Dylan, take a tune and coronafy it. 



    Send pollen. 




  2. Melbourne Mick on

    Could somebody repost my last one on previous blog


    as it concerns A very sick CQN’R.


    Thank you.


    H.H . Mick

  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Prayers for Peter (BIGMANMILAN)


    Hoping he pulls though

  4. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    As some of you may have noticed i asked a few days ago if anyone



    had heard from or seen a post from BIGYINMILAN, i was worried



    that he hadn’t answered a few emails i sent.



    To let you all know, our BIGYIN Peter is a professor in the world



    health organisation, he lives in France and travels the world to give



    seminars etc.



    Just heard back from a Federique Delbar at the International Prevention



    Research Institute at Dardilly that Peter is very ill.



    Prayers said for this great Celtic man and that he makes a full recovery.



    H.H . Mick




    Am I correct that the number of Covid19 cases in Italy has dropped significantly and the Medics think the worst is almost over? Bloody well hope so.



    Stay well




  6. Weekly shop completed. Very civilised out there in ML3.


    Dubbed up until next week now.


    Anyone else worried that this big Uefa meeting is taking place on April 1st?

  7. Closed door games just doesn’t seem realistic to me. How would players maintain social distancing ? Italy quickly abandoned it when it became apparent how foolish it was.



    Football will come back when this crisis abates. It will have full stadiums and packed pubs. There is no half way here that I can see.

  8. Players ‘Union’ boss Peter Taylor was on £2.4 million a year last time I checked.

  9. UEFA will say to the leagues, sort the outcome yourselves, just make sure we have names for the Champions League and the Europa League by 31st June .

  10. TIMMY7_NOTED on 31ST MARCH 2020 11:26 AM



    I’ve been having a look myself, its very entertaining, they are grabbing at every straw they can to try to devalue our current run of league titles. With everything that is going on at the moment I was not thinking that much about the end to this season but having read the huns desperation today its just confirmed that as soon as its possible I’ll be having a mega 9 in a row party.



    First drink will be a pint of hun tears.






    It’s absolutely brilliant.



    Celtic have just announced a record-breaking kit deal with Addidas & they are going to have to pay damages to their supplier! Begging for a new one on Twitter. But the Zombies think they have it sussed. Celtic asked for season book renewals and have discussed cutting wages. Must be on the verge of liquidation eh? 10 of the 12 richest clubs in football have agreed to wage cuts with their players.



    The funniest one is the null and void stuff. They argue that this season shouldn’t count. But even worse than that, they suggest that if Celtic win the title next year it won’t be 9 in a row because it won’t be ‘consecutive’



    Celtic are the club best equipped to deal with this crisis and if things stay as they are they will have an even tighter grip on the silverware.

  11. UEFA btw are an organisation I expect nothing from, their only concern is money and they will abandoned 90% of clubs in Europe to ensure the top sides are ok.



    Today they’ve fined us 15K for a late kick off while fining Sevco 15K for incidents of throwing glass bottles and pitch invasions.



    I’d question their sense of perspective.





    Gorgeous picture , The wild Atlantic way has been a great success for tourism.



    My pal has a hotel in Dungloe and is very busy normally with Scandinavian cyclists. Hope they can survive this disaster.HH

  13. The Battered Bunnet on




    31st of June is as accurate as any other prediction I’ve seen.




  14. BT


    Not wanting to put many details on the blog,


    but is there much of a success rate in appeals,


    not for me i must add.

  15. South Of Tunis on



    Number of new cases is dropping.Indicative of a possible trend but way too early to claim it’s significant..I ‘ve yet to hear any medic claiming that the worst is almost over.Italy was a bit lax with its initial lockdown.-The consequences of that is that there are potentially lots of canaries waiting to sing in the coalmine.

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Cheers Pablo.



    Question – if the ECA are on the video conference call, can we assume Peter Lawwell will be there?

  17. Self testing is a game changer. Will allow close doors games with TV coverage behind a pay wall

  18. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Appeals are well over 70% successful


    Make sure the client has representation and medical reports to back them up



    Figures released jan2020 show 73% successful

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