June 3, 2020 / 12:44 PM / a month ago

Scottish Premiership season to begin in August

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Rangers vs Kilmarnock - Ibrox, Glasgow, Britain - May 5, 2018 A Rangers fan with badges on his top before the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell/File Photo

(Reuters) - The 2020-21 Scottish Premiership season will begin in August after the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and Sky Sports on Wednesday agreed a framework for top-flight soccer in the country to resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With games set to be played in empty stadiums, Scottish Premiership clubs will offer "virtual season tickets" to fans to provide an alternative source of matchday income, SPFL said in a statement here

Forty eight matches in the season will be broadcast live by Sky Sports, the SPFL said, adding that a deal had been agreed to “spread financial settlement for games unable to be completed in season 2019-20 across the term of the new five-year contract”.

The 2019-20 season was called off due to the coronavirus outbreak, with Celtic crowned champions for a record-equalling ninth successive campaign.

“This is an innovative and pragmatic solution to the challenges posed by COVID-19. I’m grateful for the flexibility shown by our clubs and by Sky Sports,” SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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