In a bizarre decision today, which is bound to get our domestic rivals flapping, the Dutch FA has finished the season with the league standings “as they were” but without enforcing relegations or promotions … and without awarding a champion. Ajax were ahead there by a single point.
They will not be named winners.
For all that, their league wants to give out prize money and name European qualifiers based on the standings. With one point of a difference between the top two sides there might even be a level of agreement over the way this spins out … but other clubs are not going to be as happy.
The directors of Cambuur, who would have been promoted to the top flight, have lambasted the decisions as a disgrace.
It is a ridiculous ruling on every level, making this an essentially consequences – and results – free campaign, although Ajax will go straight into the Champions’ League Group Stages as a result of it.
But don’t expect it not to be fiercely controversial and contested.
Losers are let off the hook whilst winners are denied their prizes.
And of course, this opens up a whole new front of the debate on voiding the season here in Scotland, one that I am certain the hacks will take up with gusto.
Dutch football is suddenly the precedent they needed and wanted; forget that the Belgians have already awarded theirs and that other countries will soon follow suit.
But the clubs here at home have voted on this, and they knew full well what it was they were voting for when they did.
Celtic will be crowned Scottish champions; we have a 13 point lead, and not to do it would be diabolical and unacceptable and it would be a year zero money for the whole of the game.
Liverpool will be awarded the title in England; that appears certain.
Other leagues will choose whatever seems best for them in due course. Sevco and their allies can say that not all leagues will award titles and that will be true … but enough of them will. We cannot control what happens elsewhere, but we can say that we are worthy winners of the 2019-20 campaign because we are.
I don’t care whether a Euro-wide consensus emerges or not.
The chance for that came and went when UEFA kept on passing the buck.
Some countries will award titles and some won’t; Scotland’s league was won on the park and I don’t care what anyone says about it now or in the future.
Sevco and its media allies can call it tainted, but there have been actual tainted titles in Scotland and any time they try to draw attention to this one we will draw the world’s attention to the real ones and the history behind them.
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