Club chief reveals likely Championship start date for Hearts as full season expected to be played

The Scottish Championship could start two months after the Premiership but still play the full programme

Hearts are heading for an October start if they find themselves in the Championship.

Greenock Morton chief executive Dave MacKinnon revealed that “concrete dates” could arrive within the next week with “light at the end of the tunnel”.

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There is hope that a full league programme will be played in the second tier.

The Championship is likely to start in October. Picture: SNS

If given approval it could see games come thick and fast when fans are able to return to grounds as clubs may seek to “back end” fixtures so supporters can watch matches in the flesh.

Although full crowds are not expected until 2021.

He told the club’s YouTube channel: “We’re looking at the Championship to probably start in October. I’ve got another meeting tomorrow with the Championship clubs to try and bottom that out, so I imagine over the next week or so then we are able to get some concrete starts.

“We’re also looking at the Betfred Cup, how we incorporate that and the Scottish Cup.

“We’re looking to get a full programme in which is going to mean some midweek games. What we’re trying to do is back end it so when fans are eventually coming into stadia we have a lot of games at the back end so fans can actually see it.

“It’s a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes but we seem to have some light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Premiership is expected to return in August with the SPFL and Scottish FA joint response group given the top-flight clubs the green light to return to training next week.

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MacKinnon, who confirmed plans for streaming of Championship games played behind closed doors, rejected the idea of a two-year temporary change to the league structure.

As part of the proposals from Hearts chair Ann Budge, it was suggested moving to a 14-14-14 structure for two seasons but the Morton chief said it is “never going to happen”.

"It does nothing for budgetary forecasting," he said. "The notion of having it short term is just a no go area."

It has been reported that SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has floated the idea of a 14-team top flight for five years.

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