Sky Sports to show up to 48 games a year; ‘virtual season tickets’ for 2020/21
Last Updated: 05/07/20 4:26pm
The 2020/21 Scottish Premiership fixtures will be released at 9am BST on Monday ahead of the season’s scheduled August start.
The 2019/20 season ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Celtic declared champions and Hearts relegated on a points-per-game system.
The SPFL’s decision to curtail the campaign in mid-May also saw Championship leaders Dundee United promoted to the Scottish football’s top tier.
Hearts’ case to have their relegation overturned will go to Scottish FA arbitration, but as it stands Dundee United will feature in Monday’s fixtures announcement.
The new season is set to start at the beginning of August, although sports lawyer and former Hearts defender David Winnie warned the legal action could lead to a delay.
Premiership returns with new Sky Sports deal
With matches set to be played behind closed doors, a new deal with Sky Sports will include ‘virtual season tickets’ for top-flight clubs.
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.
From August, Sky Sports will be the only broadcaster to offer live coverage of the SPFL, with 48 games available on the new home of Scottish football, as Celtic aim to make history and win a 10th consecutive title.
The SPFL and Sky have also agreed to spread the financial settlement for the games unable to be completed in the 2019/20 season across the term of the new five-year contract, providing security and financial stability to the competition and its clubs.
Any 2019/20 matches left to play?
Rangers’ Europa League round of 16 second-leg clash with Bayer Leverkusen was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the Scottish Cup semi-finals – Hearts vs Hibernian and Celtic vs Aberdeen – and final are yet to take place.
Rangers trail Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 and are set to play the return leg in Germany on August 5 or 6. A Europa League ‘last-eight’ tournament will then also take place in Germany from August 10-21.
That means at least one European match for Rangers, as well as the Scottish Cup semis and final, will have to fit into the new season’s schedule.
There are also internationals to take into account, with Scotland set to face Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final on October 8, with the final – potentially against Norway or Serbia – on November 12.
Next season’s Scottish League Cup is optional for clubs as the group stages which normally start in July are scheduled to begin in October, while the Scottish FA is also considering scrapping replays for the Scottish Cup.