UEFA will be unable to ban Scottish clubs from the Champions League and Europa League next season if the SPFL decide not to complete the current Ladbrokes Premiership campaign, it was today claimed.

European football’s governing body, in conjunction with the European Clubs Association and European Leagues, wrote to their 55 member associations last week warning them it is “premature and not justified” to abandon league campaigns.

UEFA indicated that, after the Belgian Pro League moved to declare Club Brugge champions, clubs might not be granted entry to their lucrative club competitions in the 2020/21 season if they do so.

The SPFL are holding a series of conference calls this week to discuss the implications of the coronavirus crisis and the ongoing shutdown of football.

Tony McGlennan, the former SFA compliance officer who is now a lawyer specialising in corporate crime and contentious regulatory matters, believes they will be able to argue their champions were decided on “sporting merit” if they can't complete the fixture list.

"I don't see that term further defined in the (UEFA) regulations, nor is there reference of that being at the conclusion of a season," he told BBC Scotland yesterday.

"If (the SPFL) have financial or other reasons which is encouraging them to call or declare their league, there would be, on the basis of that criteria, an argument to say the final standing is based on sporting merit.

"Against that, there is a difficulty for them as they will be seemingly doing it in the teeth of UEFA opposition. It's a quandary.

"They would have a case, as far as I can see, to take this course of action and argue it with UEFA. I suspect that they may be more comfortable doing it with UEFA's acquiescence."

McGlennan continued: "This is a hugely unenviable task. The SPFL have to do what they consider right for their members. There will be varying interests within that, financial pressures, clubs in distress who will be looking at distribution of prize money.

"Equally, they will have their future relationship with UEFA to consider, they will also have where this may leave them in terms of eligibility for European competition. It's a risk-based analysis for the SPFL.”

Meanwhile, McGlennan, who was the SFA compliance officer between 2014 and 2018, has dismissed the likelihood of the final Premiership matches being played behind closed doors this summer due to safety concerns amid the current crisis.

"A game played behind closed doors doesn't have the same conditions as a game played live," he said. "Most obviously, the home team doesn't gain the usual home support benefit.

"If we play games behind closed doors, inevitably there is the greater risk of crowds gathering nearer stadia, of gatherings to watch the match on TV. It's hard to see how that would help the current situation."