What do we know about the Premiership schedule?


The Hearts v Hibernian Scottish Cup semi-final from last season is to be played this term

After three months of votes, controversy and disputes, the new season is looming on the horizon with the Premiership fixtures to be released at 09:00 BST on Monday.

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown up all sorts of scheduling issues for the SPFL, with the winter break scrapped in a bid to accommodate all of next season’s fixtures.

Here, BBC Scotland examines what we know about how next season will look.

The task

Where do we start? As well as the usual jam-packed schedule, we’ve got to fit in delayed international and European fixtures, last season’s Scottish Cup semi-finals and final, and the group stages of this season’s League Cup later than planned.

The SPFL has described the strain on fixtures as “enormous”, with just one spare week to play any postponed games before the split. In other words, we need to hope for a warm and dry Scottish winter…

How are they fitting them all in?

With some difficulty, is the short answer. Some clubs face playing up to four games in the space of eight days, though if everything goes smoothly then this will be avoided.

SPFL secretary Iain Blair told BBC Scotland last week that we will likely see Premiership fixtures on European nights, which leagues usually abstain from doing under instruction from Uefa.

However, European football’s governing body is sympathetic to the current congestion, referring to the “calendar hardship” imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether they allow league games up against European matches to be televised – which becomes more crucial when fans cannot attend – is another matter. They usually insist any televised league game ends at least 15 minutes before a Champions League or Europa League tie kicks off.

Will the Old Firm games be delayed?

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has spoken