SPFL season 2019/20: Winter break retained as campaign start date is revealed

The big kick-off for next season’s Ladbrokes Premiership has been pencilled in for August 3.

The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group
The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group

Scottish Professional Football League chiefs have confirmed that the 2019/2020 top-flight season will start on the first Saturday in August, with the three lower divisions also returning to action after their summer holidays on the same day.

But while the Championship and Leagues One and Two will play on through the first month of 2020, the Premiership clubs have again opted to hold a winter break between December 30 and January 17.

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SPFL bosses will be hoping it is all still to play for by the time it comes to the top division’s final weekend over May 16 and 17.

The team finishing second bottom of the Premiership will be forced to battle against the drop against a second-tier contender in the play-off final, with the first leg set for May 20 and the return four days later.

The full fixture list for all four divisions will be released at some point in June.

The dates for the Betfred Cup have also been confirmed, with group stage games kicking off on July 13 and running to July 28.

The second round - which sees Scotland’s four European competitors make their entrance - takes place on August 17 and 18, with the SPFL confirming the last 16 will again be played on a weekend to avoid clashing with UEFA competition dates.

The last eight is scheduled for the midweek of September 24 to 26, while the semi-finals will take place on November 2 and 3.

The showpiece Hampden final is set for December 7 or 8.