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Report gives timeline of SPFL plans for 2020/21 season

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The SPFL are planning to start the 2020/21 season on schedule at the start of August.

Last weekend the Bundesliga returned to pick up on the 2019/20 with EPL clubs resuming training with a view to completing the 2019/20 season at some stage in June.

Nicola Sturgeon will give a timeline of relaxing Lockdown restrictions today with the return of football a key issue for thousands of fans.

On March 13 the Scottish Joint Response Group announced the shutdown of the game ahead of the Scottish Government with the Daily Record reporting on their plans to start next season Behind Closed Doors:

Record Sport understands the First Minister is expected to loosen some of the current government pandemic restrictions by mapping out plans for how and when the nation will be able to return safely to tennis courts and golf courses.

And the SFA and SPFL are set to follow up at the start of next week by handing over a detailed action plan of how they propose to bring the national sport back out of cold storage without putting lives at risk.

It’s understood they will ask for our clubs to be allowed to re-start training again in three weeks’ time on June 10 – win the aim of getting the new campaign started behind closed doors in early August after a six week long pre-season schedule.

And those proposals will be put in front of Sturgeon before she officially reviews the current lockdown measures on Thursday of next week.

Record Sport can also reveal that, 24 hours after that announcement, both SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell and his SPFL counterpart Neil Doncaster will hold a second round of re-start discussions with Scotland’s minister for public health, sport and wellbeing Joe FitzPatrick as well as national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch.

A source close to the discussions told Record Sport today: “The situation for professional football in this country becomes more serious with each passing week. That’s why these talks are so important.

“We understand there are less risks involved with allowing people back onto tennis courts and golf courses because social distancing is easier to apply.

“But football has worked out a plan of its own, the first step of which would see small training sessions initially perhaps involving no more than two players and one coach at any one time. And we will present a step by step guide to how we would then propose to get from that starting point all the way to the safe return of proper team training sessions.

“A great deal of work has gone into the re-start plan and it should be with the government in full by the start of next week. We want them to know that football will be ready as soon as they are.”

The SFA are holding back on the three final fixtures in the Scottish Cup until crowds are allowed back at some stage next season.

Starting the 2020/21 season on schedule at the start of August will satisfy Sky Sports who have an exclusive five year contract for SPFL fixtures.

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