Rangers and the other 41 SPFL clubs are due to meet today for talks over how to proceed after the enforced suspension of football in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With 30 rounds of fixtures played – Rangers having a game in hand – the season was entering the final run of games before the split but it seems incredibly unlikely that those games will ever be played.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 12: A healthy and safety message about COVID-19 is displayed on the big screen inside the stadium prior to during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between Rangers FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Ibrox Stadium on March 12, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

UEFA have set a deadline of June 30th for fixtures to be completed by and with football looking like being off the calendar until August, there’s going to need to be another resolution found.

Clubs are split with Rangers and Hearts publicly opposing any plans to award trophies based on current standings while Neil Lennon held a press conference minutes after the suspension of fixtures was announced to plead Celtic’s case to be handed the title.

Other clubs have suggested that some form of league reconstruction could be an alternative, with one SPFL chairman blasting the “self-interest” he feels is driving the decision-making process.

The SPFL’s preferred position is understood to be going with the standing as they are if games aren’t completed but there are still plenty of hurdles to be overcome before we’re anywhere close to a final outcome.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 2020: The pitch before the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Rangers FC and Sporting Braga at Ibrox Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
(Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

As the league and clubs prepare to get together for yet more discussion, we take a look at just what options there are for the SPFL, Scottish FA and clubs, with closed-door games seemingly a complete non-starter.

Null and Void

This seems to be the most widely accepted option for fans but isn’t believed to be currently one of the options under consideration. Next season would see everyone start over from the same place they were in last July and European places would be decided on 2018/19. There are serious concerns though over what that would mean for commercial and broadcast contracts. Would almost certainly need to go to clubs to vote on.

Standings kept as they are and playoffs scrapped

According to our sources, this is the league’s preferred option but there are a few major hurdles before they can hand out the baubles and confirm relegations. Partick Thistle trailing Queen of the South by a couple of points and having a game in hand is the biggest one. Thistle sit bottom of the Championship and would be relegated after playing a game less than the team above them. The league are believed to feel their rule book gives them power to do so – even overcoming objections from clubs about the number of games that should be played. Rangers and Hearts have both publicly opposed it though so it would most likely end up being decided in the courts.

Extend the season beyond the summer

Despite UEFA’s deadline, there are still some suggestions that the SFA and SPFL could look to play the games once the pandemic has eased. With the 2020/21 season likely to have to be shortened just to fit that in before the European Championship in 2021, there simply doesn’t appear to be time to do that. UEFA are unlikely to put their own competitions on hold until the SPFL can finish their fixtures. Steven Gerrard has also publicly opposed this option as being unfair on players.

Wait for UEFA to make a decision

This seems like the least likely of all the options. While there seems to be a lot of people waiting for UEFA to issue a decree for all leagues on how to end their season, the European federation are incredibly unlikely to override the rulebooks of all 55 domestic members. They’ve always left domestic matters to the relevant FA’s and leagues and there doesn’t appear to be anything which would give them the authority to do so now and not face major legal challenges.


Reconstruction has regularly been mentioned as a suggestion but it doesn’t really take into consideration how the current season ends. While there is definitely some merit in looking at reshaping the leagues, that’s only going to come into effect from whenever 2020/21 gets underway. Some ideas floated have seen clubs like Inverness promoted alongside Dundee United based on their current position in the Championship – but would that mean that all the standings from the existing season remain? Definitely an option for the future but doesn’t resolve the 2019/20 problem.

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