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SPFL warns of ‘enormous’ strain on fixtures as teams face four games in eight days


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SPFL warns of ‘enormous’ strain on fixtures as teams face four games in eight days

The SPFL says it is “simply not possible” to postpone Premiership fixtures before Scotland’s play-off with IsraelScottish Premiership clubs could face playing four games in eight days next season, the SPFL has warned.The league body will also speak to Sky Sports about not scheduling matches on Sundays before Scotland’s Euro 2020 play-offs to ease the…

SPFL warns of ‘enormous’ strain on fixtures as teams face four games in eight days

The SPFL says it is "simply not possible" to postpone Premiership fixtures before Scotland's play-off with Israel

The SPFL says it is “simply not possible” to postpone Premiership fixtures before Scotland’s play-off with Israel

Scottish Premiership clubs could face playing four games in eight days next season, the SPFL has warned.

The league body will also speak to Sky Sports about not scheduling matches on Sundays before Scotland’s Euro 2020 play-offs to ease the burden.

The January winter break has been scrapped to accommodate postponed European and international fixtures.

“The stress on the SPFL fixture calendar next season is going to be enormous,” secretary Iain Blair said.

“There is a very real risk that several teams will be forced to play four matches in eight days – and perhaps more than once – which would be a nightmare for players and fans alike.

“I’m afraid to say there are real and justified fears over the resilience of the forthcoming current fixture schedule, given everything the game is dealing with currently.”

The league says there are only 34 available fixture dates to complete the 33 pre-split rounds of games, leaving little room for Scottish Cup replays or weather-enforced postponements.

Last season’s Scottish Cup is still to completed on top of other domestic, international and European fixtures.

Scotland face eight games in three months from September as they play their postponed Euro 2020 play-off with Israel and Nations League matches.

Head coach Steve Clarke has maintained he would like league matches before the play-off to be postponed, and Blair says the Scottish FA want two rounds delayed before the Israel match on 8 October.

But he added despite the SPFL being “very keen” to help, it is “simply not possible” due to the current congestion.

“We have committed to liaising with Sky Sports to encourage them to avoid scheduling live matches on the Sunday before the Scotland games, unless that fixture has been shifted to the Sunday because of Uefa Europa League commitments the previous midweek.”

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