Caley Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner has called on the SPFL to put the wellbeing of its 42 clubs at the forefront of its agenda in the face of pressure from Uefa.
The SPFL will hold its latest series of divisional meetings by conference call today, in an attempt to move closer to a resolution on how to conclude the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Uefa last week issued a letter, which was also signed by the European Club Association and European Leagues, warning any associations that ended their seasons early risked being excluded from European club competitions.
With issues such as the distribution of prize money dependant on when the campaign is declared over, Gardiner says safeguarding the future of Scottish clubs must be treated as the greatest priority.
Gardiner said: “In Scotland, the financial position of the clubs will dictate more about when any decision has to be made than other leagues.
“Every club has got unique circumstances, and every league does too.
“Our governing bodies have to reflect all our 42 clubs’ position, rather than what’s required in Italy, Germany, France, Spain or England.
“We are different. We are much more like some of the Lowland countries in mainland Europe than the big five.
“Our governing body knows that, and our league knows that. The decision has to be made for the good of 42 clubs.
“They have got to abide by rules, but they don’t have abide by everything. I don’t believe we’re beholden to Uefa in relation to this decision.”
Gardiner has been left unimpressed by Uefa’s stance, which has been widely criticised for setting an unrealistic target for football’s return amid the pandemic.
Gardiner added: “I’m not party to all of the information, but I saw the letter from Uefa.
“The fact Uefa are out of touch with the reality of those countries outside of the big five should come as no surprise to anybody in football.
“They have to be out of touch to have said what they said at the beginning of this, so I don’t even think it’s a point of debate.
“They were talking about the season starting again on April 14, and finishing with everyone heading to the Champions League final on June 27.
“Sometimes it beggars belief, but it doesn’t really for anyone who has ever had any dealings with Uefa. It’s an ivory tower over there, and the statements have reflected that.”
Gardiner says the constant dialogue with fellow clubs has helped to reassure him the Highlanders are not alone in their current battle.
He added: “We are all the same but different. We all have different financial positions to a degree.
“We have all been speaking. We have a WhatsApp group for the Championship, and some take part in that more than others.
“We are all communicating. We all have the same questions when something happens. We share the information on that front.
“It’s worse for some clubs than it is for others, that’s understandable.
“We’ve still got to deal with our own individual situations. Every club has its own
unique circumstances, but without a doubt it has been handy.”