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Ending the Season

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Coronavirus crisis  

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  1. 1. What should happen if games can't be played?

    • Accept all current positions as final
    • Make the season null and void


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23 minutes ago, Wattie Rojas said:

I don't think we can null and void the season.

The easiest way to do things is to end the season now and go on average points per game, a bit like cricket's duckworth Lewis method. Top 2 (or 4) go up, no relegation and go to 3 leagues. 

The only alternative would be to play the remaining games behind closed doors and stream the games however players would have to be tested to make sure they didn't have covid19.

 

 

If it’s done on average points, then why no relegation? If it’s good enough to deny Falkirk (and 3 others) the right to compete for the title (for which they are all within touching distance of Raith) why is not good enough to relegate Hearts, Partick and Stranraer? 

In my opinion, if the league cannot be concluded then the fairest way is to void the season, nobody wins and nobody loses. It’s crap on teams who have it pretty much sewn up but anything other than null and void will see a disproportion of fairness to everyone else who still has something to challenge for. 

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Abba comeback. Wot a load of dross, everyone up and down or nobody up and down. No hand picked favourites.

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Juventus have declared that they will refuse to accept the title as a result of the coronavirus. Will Celtic, Liverpool and United follow suit? I doubt it.

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I don't really see why we cannot simply resume from where we left off no matter when. Yes, it upsets the calendar for more than the 1 season but anything else is fraught with legal and moral issues. Of course, there will be issues with players' contracts, commercial contracts etc etc but sporting integrity - an oxymoron in itself - should be paramount.

Perhaps a start date of June 1 with individual countries deciding if these games are behind closed doors is a realistic timeline. Some countries may not be able to meet this but they can be dealt with separately.

The Belgium situation is quite specific - the leaders could not be caught - the league was won, no promotion issue to consider - easy decision. I haven't seen any reports on how they'll deal with relegation/european places though. I also see UEFA have said no association should be making any decisions for now. Naughty Belgians!

I guess UEFA may take a different approach and ask all association's to outline their plans and approve on an individual basis. 

 

 

 

 

 

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From the Telegraph

SPFL clubs considering option to award Celtic the title to conclude season during coronavirus crisis

By Roddy Forsyth

A significant number of Scottish Professional Football League clubs are considering an option to crown Celtic as Scottish champions, to award Aberdeen the country’s spare Europa League place and proceed next season without an expansion of the SPFL Premiership, but for the winter break to  be axed, for 2021-22 at least - according to soundings taken by Telegraph Sport.

The SPFL has yet to resolve the many issues created by the truncation of its league schedules because of the Covid-19 lockdown and, as always, there are contending points of view amongst clubs, but a desperate need for income is now driving the agenda for many.

Such a course, if implemented, would set the Scots on a collision course with Uefa as matters stand, but the governing body of European football is itself engaged in a battle against time to resolve its own competitions and the clock is running down for clubs in smaller leagues, with survival at stake for some.

Hearts have already flagged a 50 per cent wage reduction for staff and players, while Dundee United have placed almost all staff and players on furlough. This week Celtic also placed some staff on furlough and promised to top up salaries after administration of the Government’s contribution of 80% of monthly income up to a limit of £2,500.

Even had the campaign been proceeding normally, this would be the stage where cash flow is thinnest but, given the state of uncertainty about how and when next season will begin, most clubs badly need the money which is allotted according to final placings in the league tables. Nor can they afford to have their prospect of season ticket sales hindered by debates about league reconstruction.

Revenue from final placings would normally be distributed in May but that cannot be done for as long as the 2019-20 season is kept in abeyance, so there is a strong motive for those unaffected by title races and relegation struggles to move for the league campaign to be declared to be finished. That view has been reinforced by the decision of the Belgian Pro League to stop their competition now, with Club Brugge recognised as champions by virtue of their 15-point lead over KAA Gent, although Uefa still want national leagues to attempt to play to a finish – behind closed doors, if necessary – in July or even August.

The closed doors option has been ruled out unofficially in Scotland because, even in the event of lockdown being eased, it would require the co-operation of emergency services who are likely still to be overstretched or exhausted. There are differences between the views of the UK and Scottish governments about how long the lockdown is likely to be in place, with the Holyrood administration less inclined to contemplate a shortened quarantine.

As far as possible, clubs want to get on with selling season tickets for a set-up as close to the norm as possible, which is a barrier to those proposing league of three divisions with 14 in each. Another difficulty presented by any proposal for a truncated campaign is that those who paid for 2019-20 season tickets will not have had full value for their outlay.

One solution is to expand the scope of next season’s offers to include Scottish Cup and League Cup ties, or to issue vouchers for holders to bring along a guest for free for the equivalent of the missed games. That outcome would be beneficial for clubs with spare capacity at their grounds and would generate greater catering and merchandising revenues, but would be difficult for the likes of Celtic and Rangers, the bulk of whose spectators are season ticket holders, although they could be offered free or discounted tickets for European matches.

This season’s Scottish Cup semi-finals and semi-finals have been postponed indefinitely but could be played before December to yield a 2020 winner. The two Hampden semis – Hearts v Hibs and Celtic v Aberdeen – are money-spinning occasions which the contending clubs want to be played. Traditionally, the competition provides a European place for the winner or beaten finalist but, if the tournament is deferred, an entry to the Europa League would become available to the next available SPFL club – in this case Aberdeen, who are fourth in the table.

The fact that three of the four semi-finalists are SPFL clubs plus the likelihood that Hearts, even if relegated, would not be involved before the fourth round of the 2020-21 Scottish Cup - to be played next January - clears the way for a deferred finale to this season’s tournament to be played before the end of the year.

The extra fixtures would, however, add to congestion which will be created if next season starts later than the first week in August, meaning that the winter break would almost certainly have to be cancelled. Much to-and-fro will occur over the next few weeks but, barring a near-miraculous early end to the Covid-19 shutdown, the chance of a fulfilled SPFL schedule is remote.

The possibility of a wartime-style season – in which the title would have unofficial status – is adamantly opposed by most clubs sounded out by Telegraph Sport. “There were no TV deals and large-scale commercial contracts during the war,” said one source. “It’s just not going to happen.”

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1 hour ago, Cobra said:

From the Telegraph

SPFL clubs considering option to award Celtic the title to conclude season during coronavirus crisis

By Roddy Forsyth

A significant number of Scottish Professional Football League clubs are considering an option to crown Celtic as Scottish champions, to award Aberdeen the country’s spare Europa League place and proceed next season without an expansion of the SPFL Premiership, but for the winter break to  be axed, for 2021-22 at least - according to soundings taken by Telegraph Sport.

The SPFL has yet to resolve the many issues created by the truncation of its league schedules because of the Covid-19 lockdown and, as always, there are contending points of view amongst clubs, but a desperate need for income is now driving the agenda for many.

Such a course, if implemented, would set the Scots on a collision course with Uefa as matters stand, but the governing body of European football is itself engaged in a battle against time to resolve its own competitions and the clock is running down for clubs in smaller leagues, with survival at stake for some.

Hearts have already flagged a 50 per cent wage reduction for staff and players, while Dundee United have placed almost all staff and players on furlough. This week Celtic also placed some staff on furlough and promised to top up salaries after administration of the Government’s contribution of 80% of monthly income up to a limit of £2,500.

Even had the campaign been proceeding normally, this would be the stage where cash flow is thinnest but, given the state of uncertainty about how and when next season will begin, most clubs badly need the money which is allotted according to final placings in the league tables. Nor can they afford to have their prospect of season ticket sales hindered by debates about league reconstruction.

Revenue from final placings would normally be distributed in May but that cannot be done for as long as the 2019-20 season is kept in abeyance, so there is a strong motive for those unaffected by title races and relegation struggles to move for the league campaign to be declared to be finished. That view has been reinforced by the decision of the Belgian Pro League to stop their competition now, with Club Brugge recognised as champions by virtue of their 15-point lead over KAA Gent, although Uefa still want national leagues to attempt to play to a finish – behind closed doors, if necessary – in July or even August.

The closed doors option has been ruled out unofficially in Scotland because, even in the event of lockdown being eased, it would require the co-operation of emergency services who are likely still to be overstretched or exhausted. There are differences between the views of the UK and Scottish governments about how long the lockdown is likely to be in place, with the Holyrood administration less inclined to contemplate a shortened quarantine.

As far as possible, clubs want to get on with selling season tickets for a set-up as close to the norm as possible, which is a barrier to those proposing league of three divisions with 14 in each. Another difficulty presented by any proposal for a truncated campaign is that those who paid for 2019-20 season tickets will not have had full value for their outlay.

One solution is to expand the scope of next season’s offers to include Scottish Cup and League Cup ties, or to issue vouchers for holders to bring along a guest for free for the equivalent of the missed games. That outcome would be beneficial for clubs with spare capacity at their grounds and would generate greater catering and merchandising revenues, but would be difficult for the likes of Celtic and Rangers, the bulk of whose spectators are season ticket holders, although they could be offered free or discounted tickets for European matches.

This season’s Scottish Cup semi-finals and semi-finals have been postponed indefinitely but could be played before December to yield a 2020 winner. The two Hampden semis – Hearts v Hibs and Celtic v Aberdeen – are money-spinning occasions which the contending clubs want to be played. Traditionally, the competition provides a European place for the winner or beaten finalist but, if the tournament is deferred, an entry to the Europa League would become available to the next available SPFL club – in this case Aberdeen, who are fourth in the table.

The fact that three of the four semi-finalists are SPFL clubs plus the likelihood that Hearts, even if relegated, would not be involved before the fourth round of the 2020-21 Scottish Cup - to be played next January - clears the way for a deferred finale to this season’s tournament to be played before the end of the year.

The extra fixtures would, however, add to congestion which will be created if next season starts later than the first week in August, meaning that the winter break would almost certainly have to be cancelled. Much to-and-fro will occur over the next few weeks but, barring a near-miraculous early end to the Covid-19 shutdown, the chance of a fulfilled SPFL schedule is remote.

The possibility of a wartime-style season – in which the title would have unofficial status – is adamantly opposed by most clubs sounded out by Telegraph Sport. “There were no TV deals and large-scale commercial contracts during the war,” said one source. “It’s just not going to happen.”

So are they talking of doing this without promotion or relegation, or am I missing the resolution to that end of the table? The piece only talks of champions, cups and Europe. Can't say I give tuppenytoss as to who wins the top flight or the Scottish Cup or who plays in the garbage/boring European competitions but I do care who we'll be playing in any potential season after, it would appear, being denied (along with others) a playoff opportunity.

But then, the piece says Hearts, 'even if relegated', so are they then talking of relegating Hearts and promoting United? Clear as mud and a sure way to legal action.

In all honesty I don't care who wins what and who gets promoted. In the cold light of day it's trivial nonsense but my slow disengagement from Scottish football is fuelled by this manna for the few and scraps for the rest attitude that now permeates the game. At the risk of being rude, anyone who thought league reconstruction might come on the back of this awful situation has been kidding themselves. 

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17 minutes ago, barkblue said:

So are they talking of doing this without promotion or relegation, or am I missing the resolution to that end of the table? The piece only talks of champions, cups and Europe. Can't say I give tuppenytoss as to who wins the top flight or the Scottish Cup or who plays in the garbage/boring European competitions but I do care who we'll be playing in any potential season after, it would appear, being denied (along with others) a playoff opportunity.

But then, the piece says Hearts, 'even if relegated', so are they then talking of relegating Hearts and promoting United? Clear as mud and a sure way to legal action.

In all honesty I don't care who wins what and who gets promoted. In the cold light of day it's trivial nonsense but my slow disengagement from Scottish football is fuelled by this manna for the few and scraps for the rest attitude that now permeates the game. At the risk of being rude, anyone who thought league reconstruction might come on the back of this awful situation has been kidding themselves. 

The way I see it from Dundee's perspective is:

1. the season will not be completed so DFC will remain in the Championship next season

2. the season will not be voided so DUFC have a chance of going up

3. the top flight will not be extended to 14 teams so ICT will remain in the Championship next season

What seemingly needs to be resolved is whether United replace Hearts or promotion/relegation is scrapped.

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Yes, the automatic places could be confirmed and the rest stay as is. Simple solution but whilst Utd will accept with glee, Hearts will take to highest courts even if it is done by clubs voting.

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6 minutes ago, Billy Campbell's Ghost said:

Yes, the automatic places could be confirmed and the rest stay as is. Simple solution but whilst Utd will accept with glee, Hearts will take to highest courts even if it is done by clubs voting.

Hearts won't like it but they'll have to accept it. By the time anything reaches the courts we'll be into the new season. Hearts might get a compensation package but they're not going to get the decision reversed.

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3 minutes ago, Cobra said:

Hearts won't like it but they'll have to accept it. By the time anything reaches the courts we'll be into the new season. Hearts might get a compensation package but they're not going to get the decision reversed.

I doubt it will stop them trying though. The only way I can see out of this is if UEFA step in and arbitrarily force one singular solution on the leagues, but that will still possibly result in all manner of legal actions.

The obvious solution is to complete what's been started but I reckon TV and sponsors will, in the end, decide what's 'best' for us all. 

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On 22/03/2020 at 20:45, Cobra said:

Well Hearts are a big club and the SPFL will want them to stay up so I expect United and ICT to go up to make it a 14-league team for one season.

It's not what I think should happen. It's just what I think our pitiful leaders will come up with to resolve the situation.

This is what I think will happen. The needle here is that if we had gotten our act together, we could have got back in the SPL in a year.

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The article is suspect in a number of areas. Not surprising given Roddy Forsyth wrote it. Very little facts except Celtic must be given the title, so it's clear who is behind it. You can guarantee the 'source' quoted is Peter Lawwell. Notice it gives no qualifying figures of number of clubs contacted. 

If the season hasn't been completed, they can't relegate Hearts. It's as simple as that. They can 'award' Celtic, and united, a token title but it means nothing. If they're not expanding the league, then it's very unlikely there will be any promotion or relegation. 

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