UEFA have handed the SPFL the power to declare the champions and thus conclude the league by laying out the two possible scenarios that could see Celtic crowned the champions.
Previously UEFA had issued strict warnings to the Scottish Football Premiership League that by announcing Celtic FC or any other club as the possible champion without playing out the entirety of the season, there would be strict consequences to their action.
In a shady state of affairs, SPFL had previously passed a resolution after weeks of voting which involved Dundee FC working to reverse its initial voting stance at the very last minute, in order to conclude the league campaigns in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 immediately, thus declaring United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers champions in their respective leagues.
This was however followed by a league reconstruction proposal being table by the representatives at Hearts and Hamilton Accies which was implemented by bringing to effect a reconstruction exploration task force being led by Ann Budge and Les Gray to look at the prospect of expanding the league to a 14 member or a 16 member one thus preventing relegation for the two bottom most teams.
— HeraldScotland (@heraldscotland) April 23, 2020
Following on from that, UEFA has finally shed some light on how the SPFL and SFA can have this matter resolved by stating the requisite criteria that needs to be met for the League associations to decide on calling their respective leagues.
After an executive committee meeting on Thursday, UEFA released an official statement clarified their stance and added the two sets of circumstances that could see a League season being brought to a premature conclusion. These are :
• 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.
Uefa recognised the received representations from Scotland and Belgium, and approved guidelines for admitting clubs to next season’s Champions League and Europa League in respect of that.
In their statement they have also stipulated that while the pandemic might not permit full scale conclusion to the league, the preferable solution for them in that case would be restarting with a different format in a manner which would still facilitate clubs to qualify on sporting merit. Essentially a playoff kind of structure where the all the teams involved will get a fair chance to cement their credentials based on their ‘sporting merits’.
Moreover the procedure for selecting clubs should be based on ‘objective’, ‘transparent’ and ‘non-discriminatory principles’ as per their instructions.
UEFA have also said that they reserve the right to refuse nations’ submissions if they do not meet that criteria.
With Celtic 13 points ahead of their nearest rivals Rangers and Hearts FC at the bottom of the league, four points behind Hamilton Academical, it is now upto the SPFL to demonstrate which of these issues might be their driving force behind working to resolve the present season as it is and have their decision approved by the UEFA should they be able to adhere to the said criteria.