The SPFL are deep into negotiations with Sky Sports to allow clubs to see virtual season tickets.
The broadcaster has exclusive rights to live matches next season but with the season expected to start behind closed doors on August 1 clubs have to find ways of making up for lost turnstile income.
Season ticket sales have continued at all clubs except Hamilton Accies with a belief that ticket holders would be able to stream matches that they can’t attend in person.
Hopefully there will be a phased return of supporters during the season with the issue of streaming and virtual season tickets critical in the plans to start the season on schedule at the start of August.
The Daily Record reports:
Football starved fans across the country look set to be offered the chance to buy virtual season tickets – as the SPFL close in on a revolutionary new broadcast deal with satellite giants Sky.
Record Sport understands crisis talks between the league’s chief executive Neil Doncaster and TV bosses have reached an advanced stage as they prepare to begin next season behind closed doors.
We told how, as part of the discussions, Sky could be willing to write off a potential £5.5m claw back claim for the failure to complete the 2019/20 campaign – with Doncaster attempting to negotiate a greatly reduced penalty sum of £1.5m, with payments spread over the next five years.
Now we can reveal the talks have also explored ways that Scotland’s cash strapped clubs might be able to create some sort of vital matchday revenue even although their turnstiles could remain locked for months.
It is believed Sky – who snapped up exclusive SPFL rights for the next five years in a deal worth £150m – understand the need for clubs to be able to raise extra cash as the game in this country battles to survive the financial ramifications of the pandemic.
And they accept that allowing matches to be live-streamed into the living rooms of fans around the country could help provide a financial lifeline.
Doncaster’s plan would allow each club to live stream matches using their own online channels to virtual season ticket holders.
One Premiership chairman told Record Sport: “We are waiting for the exact details of how such an agreement would be structured but we are told more information will follow shortly as the discussions between Neil Doncaster and Sky are at an advanced stage.”
Celtic fans outside of the UK and Ireland have been able to watch the elusive Saturday 3pm kick-offs live for a number of years but the embargo on that slot for broadcasting has been lifted by UEFA.
After nine successive title wins next season’s SPFL campaign carries added significance for Celtic fans with interest in every match likely to be at an all-time high.