SPFL clubs to vote on ending Championship, League One and League Two seasons
SPFL clubs are to vote on a resolution recommending the termination of the Championship, League One and League Two seasons – but the Premiership remains postponed for the time being.
With play halted in Scotland, the proposal would see the three divisions below the top flight immediately curtailed and final season placings determined by points per game in league matches played by each club so far.
The resolution also recommends that the Ladbrokes Premiership remains postponed for the time being, although final season placings would be determined by the same system if the SPFL’s board determines matches cannot be played.
That would see Celtic crowned champions for the ninth successive season and Hearts relegated, but SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster admits the top flight situation remains complex.
“The position for the Ladbrokes Premiership remains particularly complicated,” he said.
“Everyone is aware of UEFA’s desire for the family of European football to work together to resolve the issues that confront us all.
“We are keen to work with UEFA and remain in discussion with them over the situation in Scotland.
“The quicker we reach a final position the better, but there is no doubt this is the most complicated and challenging situation our game has faced in living memory.”
While the Premiership provides a headache, the SPFL believes curtailing the Championship, League One and League Two seasons is the only way forwards.
The league has circulated a written resolution to its 42 members clubs recommending the immediate termination of the 2019/20 season for those divisions, the cancellation of all play-off competitions and that final places are decided on a points per game basis.
Dundee United would be promoted to the Premiership if the resolution passes, while Raith Rovers would move up to the Championship and Cove Rangers would join League One.
Partick Thistle would be relegated to the third tier and Stranraer to the fourth as part of recommendations that would avoid “significantly damaging the SPFL’s ability to start and complete, on time, league season 2020-21 and next season’s Betfred Cup.”
The SPFL said it has “also committed to consulting with clubs over the possibility of league restructuring ahead of season 2020-21” in a bid to deal with the knock-on effects of Covid-19.
SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan has said “these are extraordinarily difficult times for our entire country”, leaving them “wrestling with the enormous challenges caused by the outbreak”.
“The communication from the Scottish Government at least gives us a degree of clarity, meaning it will now be impossible to fulfil the remaining fixtures in the Ladbrokes Championship, League One and League Two without causing huge financial damage and uncertainty for clubs in those divisions,” he said.
“We have recommended a way forward which we firmly believe enables the best possible outcome for Scottish football in these very demanding and unique circumstances.”
SPFL chief executive Doncaster added: “As a board, we have consulted extensively with clubs in all four divisions since football was suspended on March 13 and have taken expert legal and commercial advice.
“Now is the right time to act. Very regrettably, we must face the reality that it’s simply not possible for the remaining Ladbrokes Championship, League One and League Two fixtures to remain postponed without causing significant further financial harm to clubs in those divisions.”