You and I have known for a while that the chances of football resuming to allow domestic and European seasons to conclude by the end of June are zero. Uefa almost certainly knew this too before their videoconference meeting with the national associations last week, but they agreed to setup a working party to explore all options before issuing a decision.
As the virus spread, what was unthinkable only a few days earlier becomes the accepted norm. By the time the working party reports, almost everyone in Europe will know football across the continent will be in lockdown until at least August. Before then, transcontinental travel will be irresponsibly dangerous, so there is no chance of staging Champions and Europa Leagues finals in June. These outstanding games, like the three remaining Scottish Cup ties, can take place anytime, even after the start of next season.
As we discussed two weeks ago, and today’s Daily Record reported “a source close to the discussions”, leagues and associations across Europe have asked Uefa to issue clear guidelines on what to do with their domestic competitions. Whatever happens, many will be unhappy across Europe, but if Uefa guidelines are followed, outcomes will be transparent and free of interference.
What football needs now is money and the biggest pot available to much of the continent is from Uefa competition. Heaven and earth will be moved to ensure the Champions and Europa Leagues will take place next season, ensuring TV and sponsorship income flows as usual.
For this to happen, Uefa will need champions to be nominated. It is not how we wanted nine-in-a-row, but we all have more to worry about that football glory right now.