1 August kick-off

New Sky Sports deal creates virtual season tickets

Deal: Sky Sports (pic: SNS Group)

The SPFL and Sky Sports have agreed terms that provide an ‘innovative’ framework for the Premiership to resume on 1 August behind closed doors.

The Premiership clubs will create a ‘virtual season ticket’ for the 2020/21 campaign, providing an alternative source of matchday income while social distancing measures prevent fans from attending matches.

During next season, each Premiership club will be able to sell a package to season ticket holders to watch all home games.

From August, Sky Sports will be the only broadcaster to offer live coverage of the SPFL with 48 games available as Celtic aim to make history and win a tenth consecutive title.

The SPFL also agreed a settlement with Sky – believed to be £1.5 million over five years – for games not broadcast when the 2019-20 season was cut short.

The return of a new season in Scotland at the beginning of August would follow on from the conclusion of the English Premier League season.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “This is an innovative and pragmatic solution to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and I’m grateful for the flexibility shown by our clubs and by Sky Sports.

“This agreement means that any liability for games not delivered during season 2019/20 has now been settled, on terms that reflect Sky’s status as a committed partner and supporter of Scottish football.”

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Rob Webster, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “Sky Sports is proud of our long-standing relationship with Scottish football and we have been committed to finding a positive solution for the SPFL and clubs.

“The new season promises to be a unique experience for the Scottish Premiership and our approach is to be as flexible and supportive of the clubs as we can be in these unique times.”

Scottish clubs can resume non-contact group training on 11 June.

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