Football makes the right decision, again: Neil Humphreys
Uefa realises that sport has to take a back seat during the coronavirus pandemic
Lives come first. Health comes second and football comes in so far behind the rest that it's not yet visible on the horizon line.
But it must still finish. The sport has to end its season eventually.
There needs to be closure, in every sense, whatever the delay.
Uefa's major leagues understand this, coming together to take the only viable option, at least for now.
Last night, European football's governing body held a video conference with its 55 members and agreed to indefinitely suspend the Europa League and Champions League campaigns, pushing them to July or perhaps even August.
The European finals may be played behind closed doors, if necessary, but the major leagues will be completed, whenever that is.
All international matches scheduled for June will be suspended to accommodate the fixture backlog.
The major leagues of Europe, including the English Premier League, now have more wiggle room to complete the remaining fixtures - the EPL has 10 rounds still to go - even if they eat into what should have been the start of next season.
Football's governing powers have made the right decision, again, and their prudent response should not be underestimated.
As political forces send mixed messages and even contradict one another, football has, for the most part, remained true to the common cause.
Global health takes precedence, obviously, but Europe's domestic seasons will be completed, however long the delay.
Naturally, this fixed position may change. Policy-making of any kind is a fluid process as the coronavirus retains its vicious grip on the continent.
The heart-breaking death tolls in Italy, Spain and Britain suggest that even the month of August seems a tad optimistic.
The original return date of April 30 always looked unlikely, increasing speculation that Europeans leagues would cave and void their seasons.
But formidable financial and legal obstacles remain. It's unspeakably crass to talk dollars and cents now - as Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley discovered last week - but signed contracts do not go away either.
A voided campaign settles nothing. End the season now and the next few months become an unseemly, grubby battle between the lawyers and accountants of Uefa, Europe's 55 national associations, broadcasters and sponsors. They must all extricate themselves from a unique, legal black hole.
Who pays what and to whom for a season that wasn't a full season? Is TV money returned for matches that were never screened? Do match-day staff and casual labour still get paid for matches that were never played?
Beyond the elite bubble, thousands of regular jobs are at stake in economies facing a major recession. The threat of administration looms large for clubs with over-extended payrolls and almost no income for the foreseeable future.
To use a regional example, the Western Sydney Wanderers were AFC champions in 2014. Yesterday, the A-League club were forced to put their entire squad on unpaid leave.
Perth Glory, Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar are expected to take a similarly drastic course of action.
Europe's heavyweights won't be spared either. The devastating impact of Covid-19 in Italy has crippled Serie A's finances and Juventus are expected to sell Cristiano Ronaldo whenever the season concludes.
According to CIES Football Observatory, transfer fees and player valuations are expected to drop by around 30 per cent, which reads as a thoroughly heartless, detached "first-world problem" to highlight. And that's the point.
Void the season now and rats and sinking ships leap to mind. In a desperate bid for economic survival, a fight played out in lawyers' offices and panic-stricken transfer markets could only get ugly.
There's quite enough ugliness to contend with at the moment.
Pushing the Champions League and Europa League competitions into August, potentially, also pushes back the inevitable legal and transfer squabbling to a more dignified time and should help facilitate the extension of players' contracts beyond the June 30 termination date.
Next season can be squeezed and refined later on. Perhaps there will be a short break in September and no cup replays. Frankly, who cares? In a list of pressing priorities, next season doesn't even make the list.
Postponing the season for three months or even longer offers a slither of light in this omnipresent darkness. It suggests that things will get better. Something resembling normal life can return.
And then - and only then - we can return to screaming at the video assistant referee again.
Uefa's decision suggests that the Beautiful Game isn't quite ready to give up on such a hideous year. And nor should we.