IF Scottish clubs were looking to today’s UEFA conference call as the moment they would at last receive some clarity amid the coronavirus crisis that has left the game in limbo, they had better think again.

That’s the opinion of former Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan, a man who knows the inner workings of European football’s governing body better than most, and of course, has vast experience and insight into the way the SFA and SPFL operate too.

Rather than looking at today’s teleconference between 55 countries as a potential end to the purgatory they are currently in, he believes Scottish clubs should look upon it as the first step in what is likely to be a lengthy process to establish the best way forward for the game.

Time is likely to be something clubs have a lot of in the coming weeks and months, and he has urged that they also exercise patience as current SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell and SPFL counterpart Neil Doncaster attempt to plot a path out of the current impasse. A final decision on what may happen, whether that be the resumption of the current season, or its premature end, could still be weeks away.

“I don’t envy a 55-country conference call, I’ve never been involved in anything as big as that in my career, and certainly not requiring such a big decision at the end of it,” Regan said.

“Everybody will have an opinion, and it is going to be very difficult to co-ordinate and chair that meeting. But knowing UEFA as I do, they wouldn’t make such a major decision without fully consulting and without fully thinking through the implications.

“There won’t be a decision made on Tuesday. It will literally be the first step on a journey to try and put a plan together.

“I suspect there will be a few ideas floated, and UEFA will take those away and work them into a more detailed plan. UEFA will have to bounce those off FIFA, especially if it involves regulations around transfer windows, registration periods, loan players, contract extensions etc. All of those will need to be further consulted, perhaps including the European Clubs Association and FIFPRO.

“The whole coronavirus situation has put UEFA into a really difficult position, and it’s one of those situations where there’s no right answer. There’s going to be winners and losers no matter which decision they make.

“I know how UEFA work, they are very thorough and they have some excellent planners in all parts of the organisation. They will have a plan in their minds that they would like to deliver, but they won’t be pressing the button on that plan until they have consulted with the countries, and they have the views and opinions to either support that plan, or have feedback to give them other ideas that might be accommodated.

“When there is a final plan, that will then have to be circulated around and discussed with other stakeholders like broadcasters, perhaps the sponsors, to see if the rights can still be delivered if everything is happening in a very tight window.

“The broadcasters will want the content, but they won’t want it all to be played on the same day at the same time. There’s got to be a bit of give and take required, and a little bit of detailed planning before it will be communicated to the public.

“So, don’t expect anything to be announced on Tuesday, it will be a few days or perhaps a couple of weeks before everything is finalised.”

Regan outlined his own personal thoughts on a possible way forward for the leagues north and south of the border on social media over the weekend, suggesting that this season had to be played to a conclusion and offering possible ways to truncate the following campaign in order to accommodate that.

“It is a massive challenge facing the authorities in Scotland and Europe as a whole, because we’re trying to squeeze a quart into a pint-pot,” he said.

“No matter what you do, one decision is going to have a knock-on effect on someone else’s area of responsibility.

“Those in charge need to accept that they might not get the ideal outcome from their own perspective, but it’s going to take a bit of collaboration and a bit of understanding to come up with a pragmatic solution that works for everyone. That’s what I was trying to suggest when I put my tweets out.

“I had just had a 12-hour flight back from Uzbekistan, where I’d spent last week with the football federation over there. I was catching up with everything that had gone on in the UK because I had been out of the country, and everyone was jumping to conclusions, saying the season had to finish and there was no way that football was going to continue.

“I thought to myself, ‘we’ve managed as a group of football stakeholders to move a World Cup from the summer to the winter in a couple of years’ time’, so there’s absolutely no reason why with a bit of concerted effort and a bit of collaboration, you can’t actually restructure a season to complete the existing one and squeeze the next one into a tighter timeframe.

“It’s not beyond the wit of man to do that with a bit of give and take.”

Regan supports the stance currently being taken by Maxwell and Doncaster, where they have limited their public proclamations on their next move to the statements they have co-signed through the joint response group.

That, for Regan, is the sensible thing to do until they know how any instructions from UEFA may impact their own preferred course of action.

“I think it’s a good idea to try and see what the potential solution could be across Europe,” he said. “There are obviously European fixtures to consider, the Champions League, the Europa League, the European Championships, not least the play-offs which involve Scotland and then the tournament that is in 12 cities across Europe.

“There are some big, big decisions that will require to be dealt with, and it might make sense if there’s a solution that works across all 55 countries.

“Let’s say they agree to postpone the Euros to either December, or more likely in my opinion, next summer. You can then work out which timeslots you are going to have available to play league fixtures.

“You might not need to play the play-offs immediately, you might not need to worry about the summer availability of players because the Euros have been pushed back.

“So, I think it’s sensible to see what the bigger picture is before you finalise what is going to happen in your own league.

“I’m sure Neil and Ian will have a contingency plan in their mind, what they would like to do, and then they will be looking to see if the UEFA solution will allow them to deliver that plan.

“I can see them sitting on their own plan until they have heard from everyone else tomorrow, and then seeing what the best solution is for Scotland.”