Former SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan has frustratingly predicted that there won’t be a definitive outcome announced today regarding the future of Scottish football.
UEFA will hold a meeting with its 55 member associations at some point this afternoon. For many, clarity will hopefully be provided on whether domestic campaigns can be finished. The SFA will be a part of this vital dialogue with UEFA and the rest of the continent.
Celtic currently sit 13 points clear of Rangers at the top of the Premiership with only eight games remaining. It’s looking inevitable that the Hoops would win the league if given the chance to finish their games. For some, that strengthens the argument of just handing Celtic the title now if the season ends.
However, Regan, speaking in comments published by the Glasgow Times, stated that today’s meeting was just part one of a long journey towards a plan.
“Everybody will have an opinion, and it is going to be very difficult to co-ordinate and chair that meeting. But knowing UEFA as I do, they wouldn’t make such a major decision without fully consulting and without fully thinking through the implications.
“There won’t be a decision made on Tuesday. It will literally be the first step on a journey to try and put a plan together.
“I suspect there will be a few ideas floated, and UEFA will take those away and work them into a more detailed plan. UEFA will have to bounce those off FIFA, especially if it involves regulations around transfer windows, registration periods, loan players, contract extensions etc. All of those will need to be further consulted, perhaps including the European Clubs Association and FIFPRO.”
Far too many variables to make a solid prediction
What Regan says here, unfortunately, would make sense.
It’s going to be difficult for UEFA to come up with a plan right at this moment in time. After all, nobody knows what is going to happen with the virus even as soon as tomorrow. Trying to predict when games can go ahead is an impossible task.
The only real step that could be taken is the postponement of Euro 2021. There’s absolutely no way that competition should go ahead now. Freeing up that space at least gives the domestic leagues some breathing room. And, if the situation worsens over the summer and games can’t be played, then Euro 2021 wouldn’t go ahead anyway.
However, there are far too many variables to take into account to come up with a definitive action plan so soon. We have player contracts and transfer windows to take into account. Playing over the summer would severely affect that.
You also have the likes of European qualifiers, player registrations, and player breaks too. All of this likely won’t see a universal agreement within the space of one call.
But what we can see today is a move towards a plan. At least an idea of where UEFA is planning to take the game. The postponement of the Euros would prove that space is trying to be freed up. At least, if that was to happen, Celtic and many others would know the end goal – summer football.