Coronavirus: what are the options for Scottish football?

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aberdeen vs hibernian March 7

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Legend

There has been no SPFL match since the beginning of March


While the FBCL is ready to agree on what to do after stopping football due to the coronavirus, what options are available and which is most likely to be adopted?

How to make a monumental decision in a landscape that changes from hour to hour? Who is likely to satisfy some, to enrage others and could have massive implications now and in the future? This is the scenario facing the FBCL board of directors this week when it meets to decide the best way forward.

Scottish football was suspended last month with eight games to play this season.

Pursuing their domination in the Premiership, Celtic remains 13 points ahead of their rival Rangers at the top of the rankings, although the Ibrox team has a match in hand.

Hearts is four points down from Hamilton. This is the backdrop to a decision on what is happening now – and those are the three options on the table.

Declare the season null and void

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Declaring the season null and void would deprive Celtic of the possibility of obtaining a ninth consecutive league title


It has happened elsewhere. Scottish rugby has made the decision to declare their national season null and void after lengthy negotiations in the conference room.

To many, this may seem like the simplest way to deal with this problem – a bold decision for an unprecedented big global problem. Like everything else right now, it’s just not that simple.

One of the major problems with nullity is the potential legal and ultimately financial implications. If you declare something void, you are essentially saying that it did not happen.

This is the scenario where sponsors and broadcasters are most likely to return for money. SPFL wants to avoid this at all costs.

The Uefa factor is also the key to nullity. The European governing body delivers courses for the Champions and the Europa League on the basis of sporting merit.

This simply cannot happen in this scenario – the Uefa has said that nations may be excluded from competitions next year, and national associations firmly believe they are serious.

There is also the issue of the cash prize. How can we allocate money to clubs for a season that did not take place? Especially given that a large part of this money has already been paid.

The contentious factor in declaring the season null and void is so huge that the FBCL almost removed it from the optional table.

Find the time to finish

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Few Believe Rangers Have Any Hope For Celtic In Title Race


It’s without a doubt everyone’s favorite option. Even the Celtic champions, who could win the title now, would prefer to see the campaign end.

This is, of course, the option with the most obvious problem. How do you find the time to finish a season when the whole country is locked out, with no idea when the restrictions will loosen?

The SPFL has asked the Scottish government to try to provide some clarity, but at the moment it simply cannot.

The only advice they can and has given is that the NHS was placed in an emergency until June 10 and everyone should be ready to wait until that date, at least.

Here is a scenario. If the green light was given for June 10 and the restrictions were lifted, how quickly could the football season resume?

Clubs generally agreed that at least six weeks of group training would be required before a competitive match could take place.

Given these factors and checking the next available dates, the first date appears to be Saturday July 25 – exactly one week before the proposed start of the new 2020/21 season and weeks after the start of the new Cup campaign. of the League.

This is before I even start to ask you whether the government is likely to allow mass gatherings. In the United States, it is increasingly believed that mass gatherings will not be allowed during this calendar year.

The end of the 2019/20 season would certainly keep broadcasters and sponsors happy. With a new five-year broadcast agreement ready to take effect from the start of the new campaign, the FBCL wants to protect its integrity as much as possible.

Everyone wants to play the season, but it is becoming increasingly clear that this scenario seems increasingly unlikely.

Call it what it is

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Hearts are currently in the relegation box of the league table


This is the result most expect now, but it is not as simple as freezing the table, relegating Hearts and crowning Celtic as champions.

If clubs end up accepting that this is the way to go, then sports integrity must be protected as much as possible. With this in mind, several options could be discussed.

One potential solution would be to draw all clubs a 1-1 draw and adjust the season accordingly. Another would be to put the statistics in a computer and let the processors do their work.

Restoring matches and results until all clubs have faced each other the same number of times could also be considered. I understand there is little on the table to try to reach consensus.

The scenario has already been played out in Scotland. The Highland League called him a few weeks ago after reviewing the statistical analysis.

Their members felt that protecting the new season was more important than discussing the one that seemed finished anyway. This is what key members of the Scottish elite are ready to discuss when the clubs meet this week.

The Rangers could argue that Celtic could be caught. Few in the game believe this would actually happen, and it may well be that inside Ibrox, they are already aware that the call of the season is more than likely.

In a sense, the gap between Celtic and the Rangers makes the decision at the top quite simple. Allow yourself to imagine the debate if the gap was smaller.

The biggest problem for the league is at the bottom of the table. One of the biggest Scottish clubs faces relegation when a few weeks ago they had eight games left.

Ann Budge will do everything she can to protect her club and will not go down without a fight. She is also pragmatic and if writing is one of the walls, she will get the best offer possible and get along.

With the warning that things are changing day by day, I’m afraid, for Hearts fans, the writing is really on the wall.

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