Report: SPFL look to deliver on Celtic's request for fixture calendar by first week in July

By John McGinley

May 31, 2020

The SPFL are targeting the first few days of July to publish the fixture calendar for the forthcoming Scottish Premiership season, The Scottish Mail on Sunday reports (31/05 print edition, back page).

Celtic released a statement on Saturday hoping that ‘the SPFL are in a position as soon as possible, to issue the fixture calendar for the forthcoming season.’

The fixture schedule for any upcoming season is traditionally made public in mid-June but The Scottish Mail on Sunday reports that is now likely to be delayed until the first week of July.

The Scottish FA and SPFL have to take into account a number of external factors at UEFA both in terms of international football and European action, with those issues potentially not decided until well into next month.

SPFL secretary Iain Blair is said to be working towards an August 1st start with next season’s Scottish Cup wrapped up in early May, giving Hampden ample time to prepare for hosting games at next summer’s European Championships.

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Chief Executive Peter Lawwell has ensured there is no doubt that fans are at the core of the Hoops’ plans, telling on Saturday: “Our supporters are everything to us and our focus, ultimately, will be to do all we can to bring our fans back to matches as soon as we can.

“Our promise is to work as hard as we can to get our fans back to Celtic Park, to liaise closely with Government and the footballing authorities to find solutions and return to normal as soon as possible. ”

However, initially, games will be behind closed doors. That means our first derby against Rangers at Celtic Park, traditionally taking place in late August or early September, could go ahead without supporters in attendance.

When will fans return to Celtic Park? / (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Clubs are already moving towards a June 11th return to training with Celtic and fellow top-flight club Ross County ordering testing kits from South Korea at £35,000 each that will help them comply with government guidelines.

With lockdown measures loosening across society and a sense of normality returning albeit with social distancing in place, hopefully, football can begin to dig itself out of the current crisis without drama.