After Aleksandar Ceferin’s message over the weekend, Celtic must be relieved with UEFA’s mind-set regarding domestic championships.
Speaking to La Repubblica, Ceferin said that the three top plans UEFA are looking at will all be in a bid to end the leagues by June 30th.
However, positively for Celtic, he’s stated that another potential avenue is to end this year’s campaign when the start of next season is supposed to take place. This, in effect, would push back next season for a period. Here’s what Ceferin said specifically:
“There is also the possibility of starting again at the beginning of the next (season), starting the following one later. We will see the best solution for leagues and clubs.
“It’s hard for me to imagine all the matches behind closed doors, but we still don’t know whether we’ll resume, with or without spectators. If there was no alternative, it would be better to finish the championships.”
UEFA still open to worst-case scenario opportunity
These comments from Ceferin take away the idea that UEFA are demanding leagues be finished by June 30th. It’s clear they’re open to the idea that this may not be particularly possible in some countries at least.
Therefore, for Celtic, it’s great to see that there’s the potential of this campaign stretching into next season. It gives us even more time to battle the current global health pandemic whilst still having the carrot of nine-in-a-row being earned further down the line.
By the time August comes around, we would all hope things will have improved. Therefore, it could be the case that we get to finish the campaign at that point. Of course, that creates a knock-on effect. We may not be able to start the 2020-21 campaign until December or January.
What that would mean for players’ contracts is also up in the air. Nobody truly knows how this will all play out. However, it’s good to see that UEFA aren’t completely ruling out finishing the season by a later date.
The SFA/SPFL will want to appease European football’s governing body too. So even though the final decision is with the domestic associations, they’ll likely look to comply with UEFA’s own verdict.
It’s clear UEFA want to have everything wrapped up by June 30th. That remains their top priority. But Ceferin’s comments add the hope that all is not lost after that date.