“It remains ambitious to believe [June’s Nations League Play-Off against Israel] will go ahead as scheduled.”

Last Updated: 19/03/20 10:14pm

Professional and domestic football in Scotland will not resume until April 30 at the earliest

The Scottish FA says football in Scotland “remains suspended indefinitely” and will not resume before April 30.

The Scottish FA’s Coronavirus Joint Response Group said it wants as much clarity as possible on the “earliest date football could resume in Scotland”.

Earlier on Thursday, after an emergency meeting between Premier League clubs, it was decided English football would not return until April 30 “at the earliest”.

In a statement, the Scottish FA said: “It has become clear that in the midst of the coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic, Scottish football would welcome as much clarity as possible on the earliest date football could resume in Scotland.

“Clubs need to be able to make informed decisions regarding training and work schedules, as well as operating their stadia in these unprecedented times.

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“The Scottish FA is supportive of UEFA’s postponement of EURO 2020 until 11 June 2021 but has already indicated there is a limit to what can be done to prepare for the UEFA Nations League Play-Off match against lsrael at Hampden Park, provisionally scheduled for June this year.

“It remains ambitious to believe that the match will go ahead as scheduled.

“The Scottish FA reiterates that all football in Scotland, both domestic and professional, remains suspended indefinitely. For the benefit of planning, the Scottish FA confirms that football in Scotland will not resume before 30 April.”

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“The medical advice is that we will not have reached the peak of the coronavirus epidemic in this country by then and the escalating measures which restrict the ability to play football matches will likely remain in force.

“The progress of COVID-19 remains uncertain for the whole country, but we are maintaining daily dialogue informed by the latest government and UK Medical Officers advice, to provide reassurance that the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority, along with the survival of clubs.

“Finally, it remains Scottish football’s firm intention to begin the 2020-21 season as soon as is practicably possible later this year.”

Players will consider ‘reasonable wage reductions’

The coronavirus delay has already caused Scottish Premiership club Hearts to ask their players and staff to take a 50 per cent wage cut to help them cope with the financial impact.

Fraser Wishart, chief executive of PFA Scotland, said: “We would implore the clubs to speak to the players to find achievable and realistic outcomes for the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in rather than serving ultimatums.

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“If we all work together we can find solutions which both sides are happy with. We know that on the players side there is a willingness to do this.

“They will do their bit and consider ALL reasonable options including wage reductions or deferrals.

“However, they would only do so after full financial disclosure by the clubs. This is only fair and would, in the interests of transparency, allow fully informed financial decisions.

“It follows that there would also need to be clarity and assurances on future spending in the next transfer window from all clubs.

“This exercise cannot be allowed to be a mechanism for selective cancellation of valid employment contracts.

“Rather than become embroiled in legal disputes it makes perfect sense to new that we all work together to find our way through this awful situation but this can only be down through honest and transparent dialogue.”

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