IT is somewhat reassuring to note that in these challenging times for us all, Scottish football’s love of a good old Barney remains undiminished. All that was required to light the blue touch paper was to wind Maurice Ross up and let him loose on the airwaves, and he in turn seems to have wound up half the country.

The Motherwell coach and former Rangers defender let rip at Celtic for their shambolic showing against Rangers, derided Neil Lennon for his tactics, lambasted the fitness of Albian Ajeti and Leigh Griffiths, got a sly dig in about Shane Duffy’s wages and said it was the worst Celtic line-up he had seen in 20 years.

Not satisfied there, he effectively accused St Mirren of using the pandemic to their advantage by having their game against Motherwell postponed. It made for great radio, and for screeds of column inches in the days that followed, with Celtic manager Lennon demanding an apology for his club, and St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick writing an open letter to the Fir Park club expressing his anger at Ross’s remarks.

The high heid yins at Fir Park must have had that same sinking feeling in their gut listening along that Nicola Sturgeon had yesterday when Jason Leitch told us all to prepare for a ‘digital Christmas’, the biggest blow to the nation's morale since Stuart Armstrong didn't just hoof the ball clear against England.

There is more chance of the redoubtable Jim Spence being back on the Beeb before the bold Mo, who has broken the first rule of Coach’s Club; you don’t talk about other coaches.

Ross certainly could have been more tactful in his phrasing, but there were nuggets of truth in what he was saying. The criticisms of Celtic no doubt mirrored the thoughts of many of their supporters, and as harsh as it may be, his call for clubs to forfeit the points if they are unable to fulfil a fixture is actually a sound one given the circumstances.

The main issue here of course is that all the players and staff at the clubs affected who have tested positive for Coronavirus make full and speedy recoveries, but from a sporting perspective, the frequency at which teams have been unable to play their games leaves the SPFL in something of a quandary.

It was no surprise to see the leagues' chief executive Neil Doncaster canvassing clubs this week to seek opinions on the best way forward, because it is likely that most if not all clubs will be affected by an outbreak at some point, whether within their own walls or by their opponents having to call matches off.

With no guidelines in place at the resumption of league action over how many players it may take to test positive for a match to be abandoned, or indeed what the result of a failure to fulfil a fixture should be, the league body have been left fumbling in the dark while our clubs have been left aggrieved at the various inconsistencies that have been thrown up.

At the very least, it seems to me, there should have been a clear rule in place when the league kicked off again over the outcome of a match that wasn't able to be played.

The fact there wasn't left Motherwell in the position recently of having their league match against Kilmarnock rearranged due to six positive tests at the Rugby Park club, while Killie's Betfred Cup match just a few days later saw their opponents, Falkirk, handed a 3-0 walkover.

Of course, having points handed over in such a way when clubs have done their utmost to protect their players - and often at great expense - is unpalatable. And yes, while Kilmarnock would have been the ones 'punished' on the occasion mentioned, it could just so easily happen to Motherwell or anyone else down the line.

The but here though is a rather big one, in that it would be even more of an egregious injustice should the season be called early once more - as seems ever more likely - while a club has the disadvantage of playing fewer games than their opponents, and ends up relegated as a result. We can only hope that all 38 matches are played, but it seems a major leap of faith to assume that will happen.

Any club would rightfully be seething at the injustice of having been sent down, for instance, having not been able to play matches through absolutely no fault of their own. Just ask Partick Thistle.

If the SPFL wants to avoid another interminable legal wrangle once this campaign comes to an end - and as someone who covers Scottish football, I certainly do - them it is time to address the realities of the current situation and encourage the clubs to agree to a uniform approach to matches being abandoned. And that’s before we even scratch the surface on the ramifications at the other end of the table as Celtic go for 10 in-a-row.

As harsh as it may seem, what that means is forfeiting the points when you are unable to fulfil your obligations to get a match on.

At the risk of receiving a strongly worded letter from a disgruntled chief executive or two, there doesn't seem to be any feasible alternative solution to this conundrum. These are unprecedented times after all, and sometimes that calls for unprecedented measures.

It may be the only way to save the season.