A FORMER Scottish footballer, who is now a top sports lawyer, believes UEFA have made a major blunder by issuing a £50 million warning to the SPFL.

President Aleksander Ceferin last week demanded that current league seasons should be played out in full as soon as possible and sensationally revealed clubs would be banned from next season’s Europa League and Champions League if they were handed the title early.

And former St Mirren and Aberdeen defender David Winnie, who now works for London firm Charles Douglas Solicitors, reckons the UEFA threat is a major error.

Speaking to The Scottish Sun, he said: “Uefa have left themselves wide open to legal challenge.

“In their statement they said that clubs are at risk of being effectively banned if they don’t complete a full season. Two words jumped out at me from that — one was ‘risk’ and the other was ‘full’.

“Saying clubs risk missing out on next season’s European competition is a veiled threat. They haven’t said, ‘You will miss out’.

“They have left themselves wriggle room with their statement and it’s clearly open to challenge.

“As I understand it, there is nothing in the Uefa regulations stating member associations, like the SFA, need their clubs to complete full seasons.

“The SFA are entitled to promote whichever clubs that they see fit to compete in Uefa’s competitions.

“Uefa cannot compel clubs, or member associations, to finish their leagues if it’s not safe and viable to do so.

“It’s a matter of public policy for each individual country — and Uefa know this, which is why they have only gone as far as to say clubs are at ‘risk.’

“We’re all in uncharted waters at the moment, but with this, Uefa has left itself open to a legal challenge if it tries to compel member associations, like the SFA, to complete the season before teams are submitted for the 2020-21 European competitions.

“If Uefa doesn’t back down, and clubs stand up against them, then in all likelihood a legal challenge would follow.

“However, if you think about this logically, taking into consideration the number of different leagues in the same situation as Scotland, with the likes of Belgium, Holland and Portugal all involved in this, where would it leave Uefa if they were all banned?

“Are they going to forbid all those clubs from taking part in European competition next season? Firstly, that would call into question the whole integrity of their competition, but secondly, who would take their places?”

The SPFL and SFA are in constant communication with UEFA to try and establish the best way to conclude the 2019/20 campaign. Some argue the season should be null and void, others insist current league standings should count as final and the option of playing the league season out is also being explored.

Celtic are currently 13-points clear at the top of Scotland’s top flight and reports had suggested that league bosses were close to awarding Neil Lennon’s side the title by ending the season early.

The SPFL are set to hold a meeting to discuss their next move and it’s understood they want to call the league now in order to distribute prize money to clubs.