Chris Sutton has blasted UEFA for trying to strong-arm smaller leagues into following the herd of more illustrious competitions in order to play out the remainder of the season, writing in his Daily Record column.
UEFA sent a letter out on Thursday threatening leagues that they may not accept clubs in European football next season if they do not qualify in the normal way upon the completion of a regular league season (The Guardian).
It came after Belgium’s top-flight became the first division to show they were willing to name Club Brugge champions despite having 11 games left.
Sutton feels like UEFA are protecting the cash-rich top five leagues, suggesting their actions could end up seriously harming nations such as Scotland.
As quoted by The Daily Record, he didn’t hold back with his criticism: “UEFA are a reprehensible organisation. Their attempts to bully and push around smaller nations for their own gain is as disgusting as it is utterly shameful.
“Health over wealth is the mantra which a struggling world is living within at the moment. If you are in power in the corridors of that organisation in Switzerland, however, it’s only the wealth part that seems to matter.
“The fact they could cause serious harm and even cripple nations like Scotland with their playground bully actions only serves to heighten the sense of anger towards them.
“Telling clubs such as Celtic and Rangers their European places are in jeopardy if they go against what UEFA wants, and by doing what may ultimately help people in their own country, is quite shocking, frankly.”
The ongoing public health crisis is impacting every country differently and when it comes to football that applies too.
The problems facing the Scottish Premiership are unique to the game here and so the SPFL must show leadership and forge their own path away from what UEFA dictate.
Our title race was all but sewn up and crucial prize money could be paid out to struggling clubs.
With the chance to also sell season tickets for next season, putting a neat bow on the 2019/20 campaign seems like a viable way forward regardless of what UEFA think.
Sutton clearly thinks they are stepping out of line.