NIFL's proposals to finish the season to be turned down by clubs
The 12 Premiership teams were due to inform NIFL on Thursday of their preference between the two options from the Covid-19 Steering Group - play the last two rounds of pre-split fixtures behind closed doors OR curtail the season immediately and adopt a mathematical formula to determine league positions.
This vote was postponed however after several clubs said they “felt backed into a corner” with the two options currently on the table.
One club, Crusaders, have written to the Health Minister, Robin Swann, to alert him to a “concerted, planned and deliberate” attempt to complete the domestic senior football programme which they state “clearly breach” current Northern Ireland Executive guidance on Covid-19.
The Crues also said they had “no confidence in either the CEO of the IFA, nor the CEO of NIFL or its football restart steering group to act fairly, reasonably or in the interests of the football family, let alone that of wider society in the midst of a global health pandemic”.
Yesterday members of Stormont’s Communities committee said they would like to see written details from the IFA on how they intend to end the current season during the Covid-19 crisis.
News Letter Sport understands a teleconference meeting was held last night involving all 12 clubs in a bid to reach agreement on an alternative which suits everyone.
Reports suggest they agreed on on a proposal which would see all seven remaining fixtures played, once it was deemed safe to do so.
It is our understanding NIFL will meet today to decide whether to accept the clubs' proposal, which would also need to be agreed by UEFA.
The waters are muddied further as NIFL is required to inform UEFA of its plans for finishing the season by today.
Another thorny issue is the allocation of UEFA money delivered to the three Irish League clubs that qualify for its competitions.
Several clubs have voiced their belief that the money should be shared amongst the teams to help them through the financial crisis due to the lockdown, with further talks set to continue on this issue.
However, it has been reported the only possible way this could be achieved is if any of the three clubs put forward for European qualification request that their allocation should be shared, but there is no guarantee that it would be sanctioned.