Dundalk boss Vinny Perth has welcomed the news that the start date for next season’s Champions League has been pushed back.
In confirming the postponement of June’s European Championship play-offs last week, UEFA also said that the original dates set out for its club competitions will also be revisited.
This is welcome news for the Lilywhites, who will only be returning to action at best on June 19th – three days after the draw for the first qualifying round of the Champions League was due to take place.
The proposed double header on July 7th/8th and July 14th and 15th will now not take place, allowing the squad to get more up to speed for the qualifiers, which are now expected to take place in the autumn.
Asked did he welcome this decision, Perth said: “I do in one sense because my fear was that if we started the league back in June then it was very close to European football but again with anything I say, you’re obviously conscious that the world has to be fixed before we can worry about European football.
“There is a lot of bigger issues in the world than when Dundalk play in Europe but it is my job to make sure we’re ready for it, whenever it is, and I think it being pushed back is an advantage to us.
“It means we’re likely to be fitter and more ready but the challenge is will the rest of Europe be ready as well? We’ll see.
“That will look after itself but there’s no doubt that UEFA will consider Europe and the Champions League, in particular, as a competition they need to get back up and running when it is healthy to do so as quickly as possible because that’s where they make their money.”
Perth also said he was not concerned for the moment about rumours that some early qualifying round ties could be one-legged.
“I’ve seen the minutes of the ECA and I’ve seen no mention of that as it currently stands,” he said.
“At this time it’s only rumours so it doesn’t concern me for now. I haven’t even thought about it.
“Obviously flights around Europe will be difficult for the next couple of months but we don’t know what August or September will bring so we’ll see what happens then.”
The 43-year-old also said it was “not ideal” if the league was forced to resume behind closed doors, as has been discussed in the last week but said Dundalk would abide by any decision that was made for the good of football.
“There’s no doubt that it’s not ideal but once it’s safe, safe for the community and for the players as well then I’ve no issue with that.
“There are two ways of looking at it. One is how is it safe to play behind closed doors for the players to mix in that environment and yet it’s not safe for people to come into the ground? It has to be safe and it has to be safe for everybody. Once it is safe for everybody we’ll do whatever is required.
“It’s not ideal if that turns out to be behind closed doors but at the same time as a group of people we’ll be professional and do whatever is asked of us. We’re eager to get going again.”