The Scottish FA and SPFL notes the update from UEFA’s Executive Committee following a videoconference of all 55 member associations earlier today.

Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell attended the videoconference at which UEFA’s working group presented recommendations to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on UEFA club and international competitions.

The Executive Committee made the following decisions:

• 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.

This means that Scotland’s UEFA Nations League Play-Off against Israel, originally scheduled for March 26, will be played at a later date, to be determined.

The Scotland Women’s National Team UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifying matches against Albania (home) and Finland (away) will also be affected.

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “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.”

Full UEFA statement can be found here

Financial Mitigation

The Scottish FA and the SPFL have this week taken a series of measures to reduce costs. These measures include:

• Staff at both organisations, including the Chief Executives, taking 10% pay cuts from April through to the end of June
• The Scottish FA office bearers and the SPFL Chairman waiving 20% of their pay for the next three months, with the remaining 80% deferred until July
• No SPFL staff receiving any pay increases or annual bonuses this season
• A large number of employees being placed on Furlough Leave under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
• Exploring opportunities for grant funding, rates relief etc.

These measures will substantially reduce costs whilst seeking to ensure that the capacity of each organisation to service the needs of our respective members is not materially affected – both during this crisis and once normal operations are resumed.

Player Contract Issues

The SPFL issued detailed information on Friday 27 March. This included a template letter prepared by Mr Michael Howlin QC which could be used by any SPFL club wishing to reserve its position in terms of paragraph 12 of Part 3 of the Schedule to the template SPFL Player Contract. A slightly updated version of this template letter was circulated by the SPFL earlier today. 

The SPFL has also now received Mr Howlin QC’s legal opinion on paragraph 12, a summary of which was circulated on Friday 27 March. Any SPFL club wishing to receive a copy of Mr Howlin’s full opinion should contact Calum Beattie.

Detailed information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughing) was also circulated by the SPFL on Friday 27 March. Any SPFL club wishing to discuss this Scheme and/or its interaction with paragraph 12 should contact Calum Beattie or Rod McKenzie.

Scottish FA Registration Processes for Contract Variations for Furloughed Players

As previously advised, SPFL clubs furloughing players are not required to use the standard SPFL player variation agreement. Lodging the furlough letters plus confirmation emails from each player with the Scottish FA is sufficient. Please note that, going forward, clubs should no longer forward such paperwork to the Scottish FA registration mailbox. Instead, clubs should use the ‘furlough transaction’ option available on the Scottish FA extranet. The system will record the furlough transaction on the player history and will also show on your list of players those that have been furloughed. An email providing further instructions will be circulated shortly.