Key decision on Scottish football fans returning to stadiums not expected until 23 July

No announcement was made on the return of fans to grounds at FMQs

Nicola Sturgeon revealed a whole host of changes to restrictions as Scotland eases its way out of lockdown.

The First Minister confirmed the dates for the opening of pubs, restaurants, museums and barbers. However, what wasn’t included was live outdoor events which includes football fans returning to grounds up and down the country when the next season starts in August.

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Clubs have been concerned that they may not be able to play in front of fans until 2021 which will have a severe impact on generating revenue with gate receipts providing a significant percentage of teams’ income.

A review of fans being able to return to football stadiums will likely take place month. Picture: SNS

However, news that a range of business and social venues are re-opening at the start or middle of July should give Scottish football encouragement that stadiums will follow.

In her address at First Minister Questions, Sturgeon said the next step for live outdoor events would unlikely be before 23 July subject to further public health advice.

The Scottish Premiership is due to begin at the start of August with the Championship, and possibly League One and League Two, to follow in October.

Clubs are planning for streaming behind closed doors games when the 2020/21 season is up and running.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced an assessment on live outdoor events will likely take place on 23 July. Picture: SNS

It could, however, reach the point where teams could welcome a restricted number of fans earlier than expected as long as physical distancing measures are in place and followed.

Celtic and Scottish Rugby are reportedly keen on test events with fans with the latter having held talks with both Hearts and Hibs over the use of BT Murrayfield. The larger capacity would allow for more fans and physical distancing to be adhered to.

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