SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster has provided a robust argument as to why the league did not pursue a ‘null and void’ season in the Scottish Premiership and lower leagues, The Scottish Sun report.
Some clubs have tried to make hay out of a potential £10m liability as a result of the season ending early in the way that’s planned, suggesting it wasn’t as effective an option as other ways to call time on the Premiership.
One option mooted by pundits was the ‘null and void’ one, a step that could have denied Celtic’s claim to a ninth successive league title, effectively scrubbing the 30 games played so far in the top-flight from the records.
However, for Doncaster and the SPFL it was never a credible solution in Scottish football’s response to the ongoing public health crisis.
It doesn’t appear that Celtic were ever going to be denied nine-in-a-row.
Asked by reporters if the SPFL looked at what the liability would be for declaring the season null and void, Doncaster told The Scottish Sun: “That’s dealt with quite considerably in the paperwork that’s extensively available. It’s commonly recognised that having a null and void season would leave us and the clubs open to a wide range of liabilities.
“So I don’t think null and void was ever a realistic possibility, therefore the Board needed to suggest a way forward which dealt with the situation whereby we couldn’t play the games but equally we couldn’t declare the season null and void.
“There are various ways in which that could be done which were talked about in the briefing paper. You could have drawn a line under the season where it was, and live with the fact teams had played a different number of games. You could have points per game, as we did. Or you could have tried to extrapolate results from the rest of the season by declaring everything a 1-1 draw. You could have used some computer modelling to try and identify what the most likely set of results would be.
“All of those are options which could have been considered. But the Board felt the fairest way was points per game. It’s interesting that the French – a top league – have done just that.”
It seems to me that the SPFL did pursue the option that best draws a line under this season for the majority of clubs.
Someone was always going to lose out, if Hearts hadn’t been relegated then Dundee United would have missed out on promotion.
Unless unrealistic reconstruction was going to take place, there was little more the SPFL could do rather than perhaps better communicated with clubs and had more of a technical grasp on the club vote itself.
The season has been decided on sporting merit as best it could’ve been considering fixtures cannot be played right now.
Anyone unhappy with that will just have to accept it.