SCOTTISH football faces an unprecedented crisis. No league has been suspended in our country since the Second World War, and the widespread cancellation of sporting events across the globe has brought with it ever-increasing levels of uncertainty.

The authorities were absolutely correct to indefinitely postpone all of Scottish football. It is a necessary precaution that must be taken; people’s health clearly takes precedence over the sporting calendar.

However, there is no question that there remain huge question marks over the financial health of our clubs. Gate receipts account for a huge proportion of revenue for our teams’ budgets and the potential loss of income from missing out from even a few games would be disastrous.

The SPFL has already issued a statement reiterating that it will not be in a position to offer its members any form of financial assistance during the postponements. Clubs will need to find another source of revenue, and quick: some teams will have seven-figure holes that need filled one way or another.

Some supporters are calling for the season to be ruled null and void. This is obviously a simple solution, yet it feels unlikely. It seems more reasonable to expect fixtures to be played at a later date but even this could prove highly problematic in practice.

In Scottish football contracts generally run until the 31st of May. Usually, by this point, domestic football has concluded and players are free to leave their clubs in search of pastures new. But should league football resume in a month or two’s time, many clubs would be without the services of players that they currently have on the books.

According to transfermarkt, around 80 players in the Premiership are on deals that expire at the end of May. Unless a new contract was agreed between a player and his club, he would be free to arrange a transfer elsewhere – even though in this scenario, the Scottish football campaign would still be ongoing.

Such an outcome could lead to a chaotic finale to the season. Players are highly unlikely to sign short-term extensions to see out the remainder of the campaign; after all, why should a player extend his stay at a club that will release him in a couple of months anyway? He could get injured and that could scupper his next move.

If clubs want to maintain their squads as they are, they will need to offer longer contracts. That would mean extending the deals of players that only a week ago, they were happy to see the back of this summer. At this stage of the campaign, players are under no illusions; they know whether or not their services are likely to be retained. But clubs could find their hands tied when it comes to maintaining their squads to complete the delayed fixtures. They need 18 players for each game, come what may.

Inevitably, clubs towards the bottom end of the table would be the most affected. Due to the lesser finances on offer, many players sign short-term deals at the likes of Ross County, Hamilton Accies and St Mirren. Would Jim Goodwin’s team survive without Vaclav Hladky? The Czech goalkeeper has already stated his intention to leave when his contract expires – what would happen if the Buddies had to play their final eight games without arguably their best player?

Would Livingston still be pushing for Europe without Stevie Lawless? Would Kilmarnock finish in the top half without Stephen O’Donnell? Ross County have around 10 players whose contracts are up at the end of the season. They couldn’t possibly fulfil their fixtures without offering new deals to some players that they possibly can’t afford. Further down the pyramid, clubs in League One and League Two – where players are rarely on long-term deals – might not even be able to field a starting XI. These are serious and pressing concerns that must be addressed as soon as possible. Clubs need to know what the contingencies are – and quick – if the season is to completed at all.