Uefa have set out guidelines as to how the Scottish Premiership season should be concluded and the reasons which would allow for a termination.
The governing body have made it clear their preference is for the 2019/2020 campaign to be finished on “sporting merit”, even if it requires a different format.
However, they have confirmed if the top flight is not able to be played to a conclusion with “legitimate reasons to prematurely terminate” a domestic competition, the final league placings will be determined by the Scottish FA and SPFL. It would likely see Hearts demoted and Celtic crowned winners.
Such reasons include “official order prohibiting sports events” and “insurmountable economic problems” which would put “the long-term financial stability of the domestic competition and/or clubs” at risk.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed that “big gatherings and events” are unlikely to go ahead for “some months”.
Both Scotland and Belgium made “representations” for the Executive Committee to consider regarding the eligibility and qualification for European competitions in 2020/2021 if leagues are concluded without all games being played.
Uefa advised nations that “selecting clubs should be based on objective, transparent and non-discriminatory principles”.
It would allow the SPFL to terminate the Premiership on the points per game basis they have used with the Championship, League One and League Two.
Null and void does not appear to be an option.
A statement read: “UEFA urges National Associations and Leagues to explore all possible options to play all top domestic competitions giving access to UEFA club competitions to their natural conclusion. However, UEFA stresses that the health of players, spectators and all those involved in football as well as the public at large must remain the primary concern at this time.
“The ideal scenario, should the pandemic situation permit it, is to have the currently suspended domestic competitions completed enabling football clubs to qualify for UEFA club competitions on sporting merit in their original format. Should this outcome not be possible, in particular due to calendar issues, it would be preferable that suspended domestic competitions would restart with a different format in a manner which would still facilitate clubs to qualify on sporting merit.”
It added: “While using best efforts to complete the domestic competitions, National Associations and/or Leagues might have legitimate reasons to prematurely terminate their domestic competitions, in particular in the following cases:
“• existence of an official order prohibiting sports events so that the domestic competitions cannot be completed before a date that would make it possible to complete the current season in good time before the next season to start.
“• insurmountable economic problems which make finishing the season impossible because it would put at risk the long-term financial stability of the domestic competition and/or clubs.”