Fancy none of you spotting or falling for the obvious April fool story in the diary yesterday.
UEFA have not mentioned anything about a league of leagues, it was all the product of my own fertile imagination.
Then again, perhaps you are all so used to us making stuff up on this site it simply didn’t merit comment.
UEFA haven’t got a clue what to do yet, and probably rightly so. Their statement yesterday more or less kicked the can down the road until such tome as they are forced to make a decision…
Following a video conference meeting with the general secretaries of all 55 UEFA member associations and recommendations made by the working groups created on 17 March, the UEFA Executive Committee has taken a series of decisions.
On competition matters:
- All national team matches for men and women due to be played in June 2020 are postponed until further notice. This includes the play-off matches for UEFA EURO 2020 and qualifying matches for UEFA Women’s EURO 2021
- All other UEFA competition matches, including the centralised international friendly matches, remain postponed until further notice.
- Youth national team competitions:
(i) the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament scheduled for May 2020 is cancelled;
(ii) the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship final tournament scheduled for July 2020 is cancelled;
(iii) the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship final tournament scheduled for May 2020 is postponed until further notice (as it is a qualifying competition for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup);
(iv) the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final tournament scheduled for July 2020 is postponed until further notice (as it is a qualifying competition for the FIFA U-20 World Cup)
- The UEFA Futsal Champions League finals scheduled for April 2020 are postponed until further notice.
- The deadlines related to all 2020/21 UEFA club competitions are postponed until further notice, in particular as regards the admission process and the registration of players. UEFA will set new deadlines in due course.
On club licensing and financial fair play matters:
The Executive Committee reiterated its full commitment to club licensing and Financial Fair Play and agreed that the current exceptional circumstances necessitate some specific interventions to facilitate the work of member associations and clubs.
It supports the proposal to give member associations more time to complete the club licensing process, until the admission process for next season’s UEFA club competitions has been redefined.
As a result of the increasing uncertainty generated by the ongoing extraordinary events, the Executive Committee also decided to suspend the club licensing provisions that relate to the preparation and assessment of clubs’ future financial information. This decision applies exclusively for participation in the 2020/21 UEFA club competitions.
Ian Maxwell, of the SFA responded by saying;
“The update from UEFA was well-received and unsurprising under the circumstances we find ourselves in locally and internationally as a result of COVID-19.
“We have communicated the competition updates to the national teams department and they will plan accordingly, or as best they can with the information available.
“Given the ever-changing landscape it is understandable that UEFA cannot be definitive on when these rescheduled matches will take place but we will continue to liaise and input at the appropriate time. However during the presentation a number of viable and common-sense options were discussed, particularly with respect to the Nations League and Play-Off fixtures, that we look forward to receiving further information on.
“We will update our members when more details are received.”
The latter part of the UEFA statement is interesting, and explains the absence of any published accounts from Ibrox. They don;t need to say they are not in trouble just yet.
Although their season books are going on sale..with a hidden warning for any fan who doesn’t fancy parting with their hard to come by cash when they don’t actually know what they are paying for.
Gary Ralston in the Record wrote;
Rangers season tickets to go on sale next week as club prepare new membership scheme
Notice the word “new ” is in the wrong place in that headline…
The Ibrox club are sticking to their traditional renewal timetable despite Scottish football’s ongoing shutdown amid the coronavirus crisis.
Rangers are bidding to ease corona cash concerns by selling season tickets from next week.
The Ibrox club are sticking to their traditional timetable for renewals, even with the Scottish game in a state of chaos over Covid-19.
Rangers are also ready to launch their new membership scheme, the brainchild of commercial boss James Bisgrove, offering a range of club-related goods and services.
Rangers are one of few top clubs yet to be formally drawn on their financial position in light of the worldwide pandemic but are forging ahead with ticket sales, even with so many doubts remaining around the new SPFL season.
It is not yet known when it will start, how many games will be played and even if clubs will move for some kind of short term reconstruction over the next 12 months.
Of course, it’s not the coronavirus that has caused their cash concerns, not entirely anyway, but it’s a handy get out clause for them.
However, they are clearly looking to bolster the books, with season ticket revenues bringing in around £20 million to the club each year.
It’s anticipated season ticket renewals may go out on Monday, midweek by the latest, although it remains to be seen if Rangers can match last season’s record total of 46,000 sales, with so many fans currently financially stricken.
Rangers also have a waiting list for season tickets of 14,000 and they may be given the chance to snap up season briefs.
However, club bosses are expected to be sympathetic to existing season ticket holders who cannot commit to a purchase immediately, perhaps by extending the date for renewals.
That says to me that anyone not committing will lose out to someone who is prepared to committ, or at least they are telling them they will.
Remarkably, the £20m sum mentioned is exactly the same as the rumoured investment from the far east, so it may be that they have got a little cond=fused and counted the expected season book money in the overall fixture.
Season book renewals are also available at Celtic, a little earlier than usual, with a May 1 deadline, which at least allows fans another month to see if its worth the investment.
The way the wond is blowing now seems to suggest the season will be finished, as clubs throughout Europe find that the tv companies don’t want to pay up for no football…
The AFP report this evening that Qatari-owned French sports channel beIN Sports have decided to join fellow French football broadcasters Canal + in refusing to pay the governing body, the LFP, the due TV money for the month of April.
Both channels have adopted this stance owing to the fact that no football is being played due to the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to wreak havoc.
It is currently unclear whether or not both broadcasters are on sound legal footing to take this measure, it will depend on the nature of the “Act of God” clauses currently included in their contracts with the LFP.
Football itself, especially in england, is facing a bit of an image problem as billionaire owners try to access taxpayer money…it’s all taxpayer money, the government doesn’t have any of its own…whilst honouring the contracts of layers on five figure weekly wages.
The average wage of an EPL player is around £60,000 a week, and with non playing staff being furloughed-no, I don’t know exactly what that means either- the taxpayer os expected to pick up the bill.
Clubs should simply tell players that they are being placed on a percentage of their earnings. They cannot expect a fanbase to pay such salaries when they themselves are struggling to pay bills.
Though it seems they haven’t yet realised that… and continue to act as though they are entitled to it .
Thats from the Daily Mail, and it is probably the most ill advised article ever, with players appearing to demand their money, and the top ones probably wouldn’t even notice if they skipped a month or two.
Thats not to excuse the clubs, but they should be wary of paying out such sums and then asking for the taxpayer to bail them out.
Players and clubs need to remember they are part of a community, and that community is struggling just now.
A failure to do so will lead to resentment, and it may even be the straw that breaks the camels back where the surreal world of football wages is concerned.
According to Sky News, some MPs are already up in arms….
…..senior politicians have told clubs they should have first sought a deal with their on-pitch stars before cutting the salaries of their non-playing staff and seeking government help.
Conservative MP Julian Knight, chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: “Furloughing staff is essential for smaller clubs but the big boys of the Premier League should be looking to come to a fair arrangement with their stars before they go cap in hand to the taxpayer.”
He also accused English football of operating in a “moral vacuum”.
Fellow Conservative MP Steve Brine, another member of the committee and a Tottenham fan, called on clubs and players to “show moral responsibility” through the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Wealthy football clubs MUST NOT be allowed to take public funds to furlough staff while still paying players big bucks,” he said.
Club owners cannot be expected to escape the wrath of the public becuase they are acting in exactly the same way as the Richard Bransons and Tim Martins of this world.
Incidentally, one way to sort out the demands of companies claiming bailouts would be to offer them a sum proportionate to the tax they have paid.
If they need someone to tell Branson that I’ll happily make that call.
The coronavirus is now beginning to claim higher numbers of lives as we enter a difficult period. It perhaps shouldn;t have been this difficult, as Johnson and his crew have been fully aware of the situations in spain and Italy, with those infected curled up on hosptial floors due to the high numbers being admitted.
In Britain, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we are being lied to in a daily basis, with no one at the helm capable of steering the ship towards calmer waters.
Even the fuckwitted US president Donald Trump is starting to listen to people who actually know what they are on about, whilst our lot simply stick to the ” tell them what they want to hear in sentences of four words or less ” mantra that got them elected in the first place.
At one point, I thought the journalists were colluding in a sort of lamb munching way, but Eddie Mair of LBC claims that the hacks have their mics muted after they have asked their question, thus making follow ups impossible.
It will take all of the hacks to agree on one point to be driven home and one answer dragged from whoever is on the podium to change any of that, and in the meantime the body count rises and the risk of civil unrest due to mounting debt and shortages of essentials grows ever nearer.
Those of us who follow Celtic in the media are used to this misinformation tactic, and its why we can probably see it for what it is more than most.
Internationally, and there’s something that has slipped under the radar, which will be as world changing as the virus itself…
The eight-member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including China, Russia, and Pakistan, have made the principle decision to conduct bilateral trade and investment and issue bonds in local and national currencies instead of US dollars.
As per details, a road map will be finalized and signed at SCO’s Finance Ministers’ meeting in Moscow on March 18th.
Russia, as chairman of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, has called for suggestions from all member states for trade and investment in local currencies. After a detailed review of these proposals in Moscow’s meeting, a system of mutual settlement of national currencies will be introduced for the member countries of the SCO.
All member states will sign a roadmap for trade and investment in national currencies between member states. Russia has issued the agenda for the SCO’s Finance Ministers’ meeting summoned in Moscow on March 18.
The significance of this cannot be underestimated, and if Colonel Ghaddafi was still around he’d tell you why, as it was his effort to stop trading in dollars and suggest that others do the same that was a significant factor in why he didn’t get a trail before he was executed…
All of this is of major importance of course, and it’s why the question of whether or not the league is suspended or annulled kind of becomes a secondary issue.
Fans of new club/company “rangers ” reckon it should be annulled because there is still a chance they could win it, without considering that if theres a chance they could still win it, they should be allowed to take that chance.
A bizarre contradiction, but of course thats not their motive at all.
They know it’s virtually impossible for them to win it, so they don’t want to play any more, but as far as I’m concerned , we should take them at their word, they feel they could still win it, so let’s play it out whenever it is safe to do so, even if that means not having a season 20-21 .
If need be we could finish this season off before, say, October, and have a shorter, sixteen team SPL from then until May.
Seems fair to me, unless all clubs agree to abandon it now, with current positions becoming the final ones.
Yesterday, we had this…