The schedule of qualifying games for the 2020/21 Champions League will be discussed at a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee on June 17th, The Scottish Mail on Sunday reports (31/05 print edition, page 147).
The meeting had originally been scheduled for May 27th but was postponed due to venue issues surrounding the rearrangement of Euro 2020 into next year.
However, qualifying for next season’s Europa League and Champions League will also be on the table as well as arrangements to finish this year’s competitions.
Celtic currently don’t know what format qualifying will take this year. The Hoops usually have to run a gauntlet of multiple rounds to get into the money-spinning group stage but that may not be possible for UEFA.
As we discussed earlier this month there are a number of radical options up for discussion including a one-off play-off round between teams from the 12 top-ranking countries that do not already have representatives in the groups and reducing current qualifying rounds to a single leg played at a neutral venue.
Like last year Celtic had been due to enter at the 1st Qualifying Round of the Champions Route, as Scottish Premiership winners.
In 2021 that will change radically thanks to an improving Scotland co-efficient but that’s our situation over the coming months.
As we know, Celtic are currently preparing to return to training as early as June 11th, perhaps mindful that the squad may have to be ready at short notice to take part in European action, even if the Scottish Premiership is not due to begin until August.
Hopefully the upcoming June meeting will provide definitive clarity on what is expected from our players in the efforts to reach the group stages, which could be incredibly important for the club from a revenue perspective in a season with reduced crowds.