Reports coming out of Scotland are claiming that UEFA could ban clubs from European competition next season if they declare the league season and the league title null and void [Scottish Sun].
This has allowed many to ultimately present Celtic as champions with growing energy in the press behind announcing the Parkhead club as league winners despite not having earned the title.
The fact Club Brugge has been announced as the league winner in Belgium has had the Celtic minded scrambling to their keyboards faster than if Rangers has released a statement on their finances.
But this aching for the trophy and increasing pressure if not a fair representation of the situation at UEFA, in Scotland or across football.
Ex-players, supporters and journalists calling for Celtic to be awarded a title categorically does not ensure that they’ll be gifted it and many would do well to remember that.
The basis of these reports largely concern the following statement made by the European governing body in a letter to member associations:
“Since participation in UEFA club competitions is determined by the sporting result achieved at the end of a full domestic competition, a premature termination would cast doubts about the fulfillment of such condition.”
According to Rangers, and anyone else watching, a full season is 38 games and this statement clearly says “full domestic competition”.
Any termination – be it announcing a league null and void or handing out medals – is premature.
It’s also worth noting it says “sporting result”. Rangers have already claimed the integrity of this is thrown into doubt by early awards.
This is an alert from UEFA to follow their lead and timelines with regards decision-making on league campaigns and a warning shot to the likes of Belgium, who will not crown Club Brugge champions until the motion passes a general assembly in mid-April.
UEFA has previously said that final decisions will rest with member associations [Michele Uva] but it clearly wants to exhaust every avenue before passing that responsibility on.
But journalists are reporting that UEFA are angry at the Belgian First Division for calling their league season early.
The likes of Marc Overmars might compare UEFA to the Donald Trump Presidential administration [De Telegraaf], but this is their call up to a certain point.
Clubs, fans and executives might be getting impatient with that, but all of this is far from over.