SPFL Chief Hails 2020/21 Season Kick-Off

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has praised Scottish clubs for their “Herculean efforts” in enabling matches to resume this weekend but warned that failures by fans to strictly adhere to social distancing rules during matches could jeopardise the season.

Speaking prior to the 2020/21 season kick-off, the SPFL chief executive stressed that supporters had a critical role to play in ensuring that the new season can be completed in full.

He said:

“We’ve just had the longest close-season ever and no-one wants to go through that again.

“It has taken a Herculean effort by clubs and footballing authorities, working with health experts and Scottish Government, to get us to this stage and I’m hugely grateful for their leadership and commitment.

“These gains have been enormously hard-won, with players and officials doing all they can to ensure we can bring football back.

“Everyone involved in the game is desperate to see fans back in the grounds as quickly as possible.

“They are the lifeblood of our sport and the SPFL, more than most, feeds off the passion and excitement generated in stadia.

“It’s for that reason that, as matches finally resume, all fans must stick rigidly to social distancing on match days, especially where they are gathering to watch games on TV.

“It’s utterly crucial that all licensed premises showing the Sky Sports matches do so safely – and that means publicans adhering religiously to reduced capacity limits to help prevent coronavirus from flaring up again.

“Where fans are watching at home, the need to avoid tightly packed gatherings indoors is a no-brainer.

“We’ve all seen what is happening on the continent and in countries such as Australia – potential second waves of Coronavirus are a real danger, so we all simply must protect the integrity of the league by being responsible.

“Clubs themselves are liaising with their fans regularly to ensure they don’t gather at grounds during matches, but Scottish supporters have the pivotal role here – the stricter they are in protecting themselves and their loved ones, the more they will protect their clubs.

“If we all play our part, we have a tremendous opportunity to showcase the very best of our game, in what promises to be a uniquely compelling season ahead.”