SPL delay decision on start date of next season

The Scottish Premier League are still undecided on whether to delay the start of next season as a help to the Scotland World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Scottish Premier League are still undecided on whether to delay the start of next season as a help to the Scotland World Cup qualifying campaign.

The SPL agree, in principal, to the alteration but have decided to postpone their decision for 24 hours in order to allow secretary Iain Blair to discuss the matter with SFA chief executive Gordon Smith.

Blair said: "I will meet with Gordon Smith and then report back to the SPL board in the morning (Friday).

"The challenge is looking for dates to play the games that should have taken place on 8th August.

"We have international fixtures, the Scottish Cup, the Co-operative Insurance Cup, all of which we respect and make allowances for within our fixture schedule and that means there is no obvious date to move to.

"It might be interesting to know why we are playing an international game so early in our season, particularly against a country that is in the middle of their season.

"But that's a question for others.

"We are where are and we have to deal with the situation.

"There are a range of issues which are not entirely in our power to resolve."

One possibility is that the SFA could move an early round of the Scottish Cup to a midweek date.

Blair admitted: "Anything is a possibility. I don't want to rule anything in or anything out.

"Maybe the SFA can help, and that is part of what I want to talk to Gordon about.

"It's not easy. If it was easy, the decision would have been made long ago.

"We are working to find out how we can do it. But I am not going to prejudge the situation."

Smith later emerged from the meeting hinting that a compromise is close.

He said: "We have had a very constructive meeting with Iain Blair and we have put a proposal to the SPL regarding this matter and he will take it to his board and have discussions and we should have an answer within the next 24 hours.

"I can't tell you about the proposal. I think it's only fair that the member clubs should know about it first."

Asked if he was confident of a positive outcome, Smith said: "You can never say confident but we had a very good meeting.

"Iain Blair seemed to think it was a good compromise but Iain Blair doesn't make the decision; it is down to the board members.
"I am hopeful."

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