A letter from the presidents of European governing body UEFA, the European Club Association and the European Leagues group to national associations, leagues and clubs said cancellation should be a “last resort” and warned clubs from competitions deemed to have been cancelled prematurely could be barred from next season’s Champions League and Europa League.

“Since participation in UEFA club competitions is determined by the sporting result achieved at the end of a full domestic competition, a premature termination would cast doubts about the fulfilment of such condition,” the letter said.

“UEFA reserves the right to assess the entitlement of clubs to be admitted to the 2020-21 UEFA club competitions, in accordance with the relevant applicable competition regulations.”

“Their work is now focusing on scenarios encompassing the months of July and August, including the possibility that the UEFA competitions restart after the completion of domestic leagues,” the letter continued.

“A joint management of calendars is strictly required as the conclusion of the current season must be co-ordinated with the start of the new one, which may be partly impacted because of the overstretch.

“Stopping competitions should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season.”

A second working group has been set up by UEFA to look at the economic and regulatory impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, including the issue of standard player contracts which expire on June 30.

The financial imperative for leagues to complete the season became apparent earlier this week with the news that Canal Plus and beIN SPORTS were withholding payments to the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) due to the suspension of Ligue 1, for which those broadcasters hold the domestic rights in France.

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