HIBERNIAN chief executive Leeann Dempster insists Scottish football must be ready to fight UEFA if they threaten to ban clubs from European competitions.

The board of the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium risked the wrath of the governing body last week by agreeing to end their campaign early, crowning Club Brugge champions.

That decision must be ratified at a general assembly on April 14 but UEFA were quick to respond, stating that leagues may be risking their members’ place in the Champions League and Europa League if they do not fulfil their fixtures.

The prospect of that happening in Scotland was thrown into sharp relief yesterday when it was announced that a vote will be held to decide whether the Scottish Championship, League One and League Two campaigns should be ended immediately.

The Premiership remains simply postponed for the moment but, should the lower league proposal pass, a similar outcome is likely for the top-flight.

And, should that prove to be the case, Dempster is adamant Scottish clubs cannot allowed themselves be bullied.

While not giving any indication how Hibs will vote on the proposals, Dempster said: “I think there has been a relaxing and UEFA are giving clubs space to make a decision, it seems. But if not, we should be challenging that.

“We should not be threatened with exclusion from UEFA competitions. Especially Scotland, who have been a gold-standard participant in these competitions and the SFA are a gold standard association in the eyes of UEFA and FIFA, so that [warning] to me was unhelpful.

“They are massive organi- sations and they have funded football, but they have to work in a collegiate way and recognise that leagues across Europe are in different ages and stages.

“You can’t even compare the Scottish leagues with the English leagues. They are our near neighbours but they are different in so many ways, as are the challenges facing the Spanish and the French and Italians.”

She added: “What we know with some certainty is that we won’t be kicking a ball until June or, probably, July and – if we do manage to kick a ball in July – then that will be lucky.

“Every bit of information we get out from the medical people, suggests more and more that it is going to get harder to finish the league, unless we are willing to finish the league in August or September.”