Former Ballon d’Or winner Marco van Basten has adopted the same attitude as Rangers, claiming it is unfair to award titles if league seasons cannot be finished, as quoted by the Daily Record.
Football has ground to a halt amid the global health crisis and in Scotland, there has been intense debate over what that means for the Premiership season.
In April, clubs voted to pass an SPFL resolution bringing the Championship, League One and League Two seasons to an early conclusion, with the teams top of each league crowned champions and those at the bottom relegated.
Rangers have argued from the start that all matches must be played to protect sporting integrity [Rangers.co.uk]. Many Bears have suggested that if fixtures can’t be fulfilled, campaigns must be declared null and void.
Van Basten, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1988, 1989 and 1992, concurs.
“Competitions across Europe are unfinished and, of course, it is a lot more important to tackle the coronavirus crisis,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Record. “But the only pure and fair way to settle this is to annul all incompleted leagues and competitions.”
“UEFA have tried to bully the national associations and that’s because they only care about rich clubs. It’s only about money, money, money for them. It’s not up to them to interfere.
“It’s just common sense. If a game gets abandoned, you play it again. You don’t just make up a strange solution based on what might have happened.”
As a highly decorated player and a former Netherlands manager, van Basten is a hugely respected figure in the game and his comments back up the views of many connected to Rangers.
The debate in Scotland has been tribal in nature, but even though his former club Ajax would have won the league title if current standings had been declared final, the Dutch great thinks the decision to cancel the Eredivisie was the right one.
Yet, unfortunately for Bears, his comments are unlikely to have an impact on the SPFL’s stance.
The association’s chief executive, Neil Doncaster, has championed deciding leagues on a points per game basis if fixtures cannot be fulfilled [Edinburgh Evening News], a method which would hand Celtic the title.