Date: 29th May 2020 at 7:30am
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The Joint Response Group for Scottish Football will meet with the Scottish Government today to discuss their plan to kick-off the 2020/21 season on August 1.

A rigorous testing programme will be in place which will be flexible enough to delay the restart if there are any set-backs but the timescale is to start the new season on schedule even though matches will initially be played behind closed doors.

There is now a level of expectation for the Scottish game to resume with the third weekend of Bundesliga action on television over the weekend. On June 17 the EPL will resume with a rolling programme of fixtures all being shown live on television.

Celtic go into next season looking for a 10th successive title with satisfying the conditions of a new five year Sky Sports contract underpinning the whole Scottish game.

Today sees the return of golf, tennis, fishing and bowling across Scotland with the Daily Mail outlining the key stages for the return of football at the start of August.

A six to eight-week plan developed by the SFA and SPFL Joint Response Group will be handed over to the Scottish Government proposing a return to training protocol based on medical advice.

Players and officials would be tested for symptoms of Covid-19 twice a week, with clubs following a programme of socially distancing and individual training before building up to smaller groups and an agreed date to resume full training.

That would be followed by a return to games and, in the long-term, a return to grounds for paying fans. If the Scottish Government are convinced that the plan minimises the risk of a rise in infections, the SFA will lift the suspension of football for professional clubs currently in place until June 10. The suspension on grassroots and amateur football would be reviewed later.

On Thursday night an SFA source told Sportsmail: ‘The important thing to stress is that the six to eight-week plan is movable. If Government say August 1 is too soon then the plan still remains the same.

‘Naturally the SPFL want to resume playing on August 1 when the Sky deal kicks in. But the plan is the most important part.’

If a return to action in the SPFL Premiership secures the Sky Sports contract and leads to no rise in infections, the Scottish Championship could resume in October with an 18-game season.

Celtic will also be keeping in constant touch with UEFA to pick up on their plans for the Champions League. This season’s competition is locked at the last 16 with the 2020/21 qualifiers, scheduled to start in the second week of July bound to be affected.