An unprecedented number of top-flight domestic matches are planned to be played on Champions League nights next season since UEFA promises closer co-operation with European leagues to tackle fixture congestion.
UEFA wants to keep European nights clear of top-flight domestic competitions, and the Scottish Professional Football League made reference to that ring-fencing asseting out the difficulties facing its 2020-21 schedule on Friday.
However, UEFA has made exceptions to this stance and accepts that the novel coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented hardship for domestic competitions all around the continent, many of which will start their 2020-21 seasons later than usual.
A statement released to the PA news agency on Friday wrote that UEFA and the European Leagues had an excellent co-operation, based on their Memorandum of Understanding.
Article 3.8 of the 2017 MoU between UEFA and European Leagues calls on domestic leagues to abstain from planning games on the UEFA club competition schedule.
Meanwhile, Article 3.9 sets out some of the circumstances where play might be possible – including postponement caused by force majeure or other reasons beyond the reasonable control of the concerned league.
No restrictions apply to the times these domestic competitions can get started if they are not televised. If they are televised, they have to finish at least 15 minutes before UEFA competition games start.
Domestic leagues have to apply for an exemption no later than 3 days before the date concerned.
The SPFL secretary Iain Blair warned of the fixture pressure in plotting the domestic schedule for 2020-21, due to start on August 1.
The 2019-20 Europa Leagues and Champions League are planned to finish in August, with the final 8 of each competition being played at neutral venues. Lisbon will host the Champions League and four German cities will host the Europa League matches.
The 2020-21 preliminary rounds in all competitions will be played as single-leg matches from August 8 to October 1, with the exception of the Champion League group stage play-offs.
The group phase of all competitions will commence in the week beginning October 19.