While the game in Scotland currently remains suspended until June 10 at the earliest, the SFA/SPFL joint response group has set up five sub-groups to plan for the restarting football “at the appropriate time”.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell are among those who will chair the sub-groups tasked with reacting to the latest medical advice and identifying best practice.
The statement read: “As previously advised, the training and conditioning of football players at clubs has been suspended until further notice and at least until June 10.
“None the less, the Joint Response Group understands that appropriate planning for the resumption of football in Scotland is vitally important. Restarting the game in an orderly fashion will be complex and will likely be done in line with ongoing restrictions by governments and UK Chief Medical Officer advice, even after the relaxation of lockdown.
“A proper planning framework is essential to ensure the game is ready to return at the appropriate time, with necessary systems and infrastructure in place.
“The Joint Response Group has therefore decided to set-up a number of sub-groups – each chaired by existing members - to get the best advice and identify best practice ahead of the restart of the game in Scotland. Experts and experienced individuals from clubs and other relevant organisations are now invited to work with the Joint Response Group to consider:
“1. Medical Advice as it relates to football in Scotland - Chair, Dr John MacLean
“2. Supporter Welfare - travel to matches, access to stadia, facilities within stadia, emergencies, unacceptable conduct - Co-chair, Ian Maxwell/Mike Mulraney
“3. Club Operations, welfare and training of players, re-opening stadia, health and safety, matchday operations, support from emergency services, facilities for supporters, unacceptable conduct – Co-chair, Mike Mulraney/Ian Maxwell.
“4. Broadcasting - Chair, Neil Doncaster
“5. Regulation - rules, competition rules, player registrations, legislation and other regulations Chair, Calum Beattie.”
Rod Petrie, Scottish FA president and chair of the joint response group, added: “Each sub-group will be chaired by an existing member of the Joint Response Group and will include those people who know most about each of the areas in Scotland.
“It will be the responsibility of the Joint Response Group to take the recommendations from each sub-group and weave these together to create the optimal plan for Scottish football to restart its business while supporting the NHS, keeping supporters safe, and looking after the welfare of players and staff at clubs as well as at the Scottish FA and SPFL.
“We want to make sure that we continue to support the nationwide effort to overcome COVID-19 but we also need to start planning for the restart of the game, at the right time and with the health and safety of paramount importance.”