The Dutch leagues yesterday pretty much told UEFA that they are done with the football for the time being; they don’t forsee games going on there until September.
They’ve accepted that football in their country is done for the moment, and they are not the first country to do so and they will not be the last.
Belgium and Scotland already want the leagues set aside.
UEFA is clinging on to a view that there will be games again. I know why. Certain nations cannot wait to re-open the football grounds. But as we can see across the continent, that is simply not going to happen on the timeline the governing body wants.
I cannot really understand what they think they know that governments and scientists around the world don’t; this thing is not going away. I think UEFA really is panicking over its two big competitions and the idea that it might not get them played this year. FIFA has the same concern, but this isn’t a World Cup year and so they are less worried.
You hope that UEFA will see sense here. You sit and you wait for them to. But it looks increasingly unlikely that they are going to give a final verdict until there are no other options on the table. We’re moving towards the end of April.
I think they hope that May and June will be better, and June in particular. That would give them a two-month window before August, although the Champions League groups would be a real nightmare to decide as a closed shop won’t suit anyone.
As Paul Brennan has just said over on CQN, the SPFL has at least taken the option to void the season off the table; we may be luckier than some leagues which might well consider that, although what they do about Europe and who qualifies I don’t know.
UEFA’s idea that there might be play-offs will be the next big cause-celebre here in Scotland; wait and see. They will leap all over that as another means of getting Sevco off the hook. A couple of matches between the top four sides or something will settle the title … what garbage. We’re 13 points clear of the Ibrox shambles. We’re 34 points ahead of Motherwell and even further in front of Aberdeen. Those suggesting this as a “solution” are having a laugh.
But that might not stop them from putting it out there, from making a pitch. At least one editorial will be proposing this and trying to find some bizarre precedent for it, in some far flung corner of the game. I do not doubt that for a minute.
Even as I write this, the World Health Organisation wants the global game put on hold until 2021 … needless to say that’s a disaster in the making.
It won’t happen, it can’t happen. Not a single club would be left standing if it did.
But this is what we’re facing up to … and UEFA thinks games will be getting played in June or July? It is time they stopped dreaming. Don’t expect the Scottish media to.
As Scottish football goes through the current crisis it is important to keep up with developments and the key issues. We are determined to do so, and to keep you informed as well. Please subscribe to the blog.