Cost-cutting measures

Earlier kick-offs to help clubs battle energy bills

Scottish clubs could start matches earlier

Football matches in Scotland could kick off earlier this season as clubs try to combat rising energy bills.

The Scottish FA has given its blessing to earlier starts in the Scottish Cup, providing both participating teams are in agreement.

Similar changes could also be seen in league matches, with the SPFL open to requests to bring the start times forward from the traditional 3pm in a bid to help members save money on heating and lighting.

If games were to finish before darkness descends, for example, it would remove the reliance on floodlights.

The increase in energy costs – commercial bills are not limited by a cap – has prompted concern among a number of clubs over how much money is going to be required to host matches in the autumn and winter, with many fearing bills could triple.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell insisted the association is “committed to exploring methods that could help mitigate the effects of the crisis within Scottish football” and he added: “this logical step to help reduce costs is just one avenue in which the Scottish FA will look to support clubs throughout this challenging period.

“We welcome further discussion on ways to help alleviate the increase in costs.”

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