SPFL, Sky plan ‘virtual’ Scots football return in August

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and Sky Sports said on Wednesday they have agreed terms “that provide a framework for the top-flight of Scottish football to resume in August.”

The SPFL said Scottish Premiership clubs will create a “virtual season ticket” for the 2020-21 season “providing an alternative source of matchday income while social distancing measures prevent fans from attending matches.”

“During the 2020-21 season, each Premiership club will be able to sell a package to season ticket holders to watch all home games.”

Sky Sports said that from August, it will be the only broadcaster to offer live coverage of the SPFL with 48 games available.

“The SPFL and Sky have also agreed to spread the financial settlement for the games unable to be completed in Season 2019/20 across the term of the new five-year contract, providing security and financial stability to the competition and its clubs,” added the SPFL.

SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster said: “This is an innovative and pragmatic solution to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and I’m grateful for the flexibility shown by our clubs and by Sky Sports.

“This agreement means that any liability for games not delivered during Season 2019/20 has now been settled, on terms that reflect Sky’s status as a committed partner and supporter of Scottish football.”

Rob Webster, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “Sky Sports is proud of our long-standing relationship with Scottish football and we have been committed to finding a positive solution for the SPFL and clubs.

“The virtual season ticket for the 2020/21 season is an innovative way to maintain the connection with fans and provide economic stability for the clubs, and we are very happy to support it.

“The new season promises to be a unique experience for the Scottish Premiership and our approach is to be as flexible and supportive of the clubs as we can be in these unique times.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.