Former Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati feels UEFA ruling is "impossible"

By David Walton

March 30, 2020

Former Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati feels that the date UEFA have set to have all leagues ended by is “impossible” to achieve.

UEFA had a video call with all of its member associations two weeks ago. It was there where they told their members that all domestic leagues should be concluded by June 30th (Daily Record).

Yet, we’re nearly into April and football in Scotland is currently on lockdown. With eight rounds of fixtures still remaining, the nation would ideally have two months to end the campaign. But it seems highly unlikely that we’ll be playing any football at the start of May.

Celtic Park may not see any fans for a good while (George Wood/Getty Images)

And speaking in the Daily Record, Donati agreed with the idea that there’s no chance of finishing the Premiership season by then:

“June 30? It’s impossible, the virus numbers are still too high but maybe UEFA know more than we do. I don’t think so. For me football has always been number one but when things like this happen it drops to second, third and the likes in order of priorities. Without our health, we are nothing.

“I have no answer now to the questions of Scottish football, because the most important thing now is preserving people’s lives.

“After we fix this problem with coronavirus, then we can talk about title winners and relegation, Champions League and Europa League places. Until then, it isn’t important to speak. Let’s be positive and try to believe that in one or two months this will all be over and we can begin to live our lives again.”

Could all games be crammed in during the month of June?

There is a potential alternative in potentially cramming all of our league’s final eight rounds of fixtures into June. Of course, that wouldn’t be ideal, and clubs with big injury lists likely wouldn’t be a fan either.

Games would have to be played every three or four days too. Even then, it could be a stretch to try and finish the league by June 30th.

It’s a good thing, then, that UEFA appear open to dragging this season into the next one. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin stated to La Repubblica over the weekend that one potential option is to end this season at the start of next term. That would then see next season moved back a tad.

Massimo Donati during his Celtic days (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

There have certainly been worse ideas. But it’s like Donati says, it doesn’t feel right to be talking about football as if it’s the main priority in life. Whilst we’re still allowed to discuss the future of the title and what the current health pandemic means for Scottish football, safety and health are always primary.

That will be the case for Donati particularly. Many in his family still live back in his homeland of Italy – the worst affected country in all of Europe when it comes to the virus.

Hopefully, everyone in Donati’s family and indeed as many as possible in Italy manages to stay safe during these struggling times. It’s certainly a situation that makes football matters seem trivial.