(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.
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