SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell is hopeful football can restart in August.
And “hopeful” is certainly the best word to describe any resumption plan right now.
I know the authorities want to be making positive noises, but there are a number of major practical challenges to be overcome before it can happen.
One of the most pressing is the availability of players and clubs having enough players to put a team on the pitch.
The Hamilton Accies chairman Allan Maitland said recently they won’t have players signed once we’re into next month.
And if you don’t have a definite start date then clubs can’t prepare and can’t afford to sign players.
There’s no definite start date yet and until football gets the green light from the government to resume, clubs can’t start building a squad.
There has been talk of players returning to some form of training on June 10, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet either.
It’s good to hear positive noises, but there are still a lot of challenges to be overcome before it will be possible for clubs to convince themselves playing behind closed doors is financially viable, then sign players and start playing again.
If clubs are going to do that they need to have certainty about when football will restart and they still don’t have that certainty – and there are major hurdles ahead before a restart becomes reality.
The financial aspect is one of the biggest obstacles. A huge amount of testing will be required before football can return.
A cost of £4,500 per week per club for tests has been quoted, but there has been some talk that the costs could be lower.
But even if it’s £2,000 per week, that’s a huge amount of money for Scottish clubs to find in good times, never mind the current situation.
A lot of work needs to be done to assess the financial impact when it comes to the costs of testing, re-signing players and playing behind closed doors.
The new broadcast deal with Sky starts next season and that’s the big hope for Scottish football. The new contract is worth more money and hopefully the cash clubs will receive from the deal will be enough to make a restart behind closed doors more viable.
One of the major drivers behind the restart plan is to avoid jeopardising this new deal with Sky and it’s the thing that could keep clubs afloat until fans are allowed back into stadiums.
When Scottish football does resume it will only be the Premiership initially and it could be some time before the Championship, League 1 and League 2 are back in action as well.
There has been talk of the Championship starting behind closed doors, but I think most Championship clubs would need supporters coming through the turnstiles for financial reasons.
With the top flight the impetus for a restart is there because of the TV deal.
Although the Championship clubs receive a share of the money, I don’t think that cash would be enough for Championship clubs to start signing players and hosting matches behind closed doors.
It’s something that’s up for discussion, but – for the Championship, League 1 and League 2 – I’m still of the opinion that fans would need to be allowed to return to grounds before they could contemplate starting again.
There are a lot of hurdles for the Premiership to overcome before they can restart and for the three leagues below those challenges are even greater if fans can’t attend.