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Official paper awaited

Football in limbo as Hearts boss makes offer to Budge

Clarity: Ian Maxwell (pic: SNS Group)

Hopes of some clarity as to how the Scottish football season will conclude were dealt a blow after a fruitless series of meetings between SPFL clubs.

Each league met by video conference at Hampden Park but little progress appears to have been made other than setting what some regard as a fanciful provisional resumption date.

There will be no football played in Scotland until 30 April at the earliest, with the Scottish FA waiting details from a government Coronavirus White Paper and subsequent bill before deciding on what path to go down.

Games had originally been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak and officials stress that while that remains the situation, they have set a provisional date for a return to action to aid with clubs’ planning.

The end of next month seems a highly ambitious target, however, with the height of the epidemic predicted to hit in June.

A statement from the Joint Response Group chaired by SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell and his SPFL counterpart Neil Doncaster said: “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.

“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.

Clubs need to be able to make informed decisions regarding training and work schedules

– Joint Response Group

“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.

“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 Officer’s advice.

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

Free offer: Stendel and Budge (pic: SNS Group)

Daniel Stendel is working for no pay as Hearts look to avert a financial meltdown.

The boss of the Premier League’s bottom club made the offer to Ann Budge before she asked staff players and coaches to take a 50% hit in their wages.

Stendel signed a two-and-a-half year contract just three months ago.

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