Celtic great Stiliyan Petrov has urged the league authorities not to rush into any decision on the future of the current season.
The current global health pandemic has led to football across Europe being shutdown. With regards to Scotland in particular, there is no end date in sight. Playing football in April or May looks totally out of the question, with the nation currently in a state of lockdown.
However, UEFA have announced a call on Wednesday that will bring its 55 member associations together. The idea is that they can all look at potential ideas that UEFA’s working group has come up with and decide how best to go about finalising respective campaigns.
But speaking to PLZ Soccer, Petrov was insistent that no quick decisions should be made on what happens next.
“I do think the leagues should finish but they shouldn’t put a time frame on it – they should wait and ride the storm. They should be calm, find a solution for the next couple of months and then decide how it’s going to proceed afterwards.
“I think we should be more realistic and give everybody time to adapt and move on. We don’t know how long we’re going to be in lockdown. If we have to go into next season to finish, I would do it
“Can you imagine re-starting the leagues now? Can you see players playing nine or ten games over a five-six week spell? I don’t think players will be fit enough to play that number of high-intensity games over such a short period.”
Decisions have started to be made
In the UK, decisions on certain league campaigns have already been made. The Highland League, for example, made Brora Rangers champions after a meeting between the clubs. The FA in England, meanwhile, declared plenty of lower leagues null and void (The Sun).
So precedents have been set for both decisions. But as for the English Premier League and the Scottish Premiership, no decisions look set to be made for the foreseeable future.
People are also starting to move away from football now. Given it won’t be back on for a substantial period, there are plenty losing interest. There’s no need to jump into any major decisions so soon. Especially not when the country is in lockdown.
Petrov also makes a good point about the players’ fitness levels. They can’t be expected to just turn up in May or June and start playing to the peak of their powers. There’s a reason we go through a pre-season before every campaign, and something like that would have to happen again.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this UEFA call of course. Whatever happens, you can bet the SFA/SPFL won’t be straying too far from any ideas that come from European football’s governing body.