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SPL chief executive in favour of early start

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster believes an early start to the domestic season would help the chances of Scottish teams in Europe. Doncaster pointed to the Swiss league which started on July 17, as proof that an earlier start to the season could help Scottish clubs in Europe.

Doncaster said: "I've heard Neil Lennon's comments about the season start date and I think it is certainly relevant to how teams do perform in Europe."

He added: "If you talk to the Swiss, who enjoy a European coefficient probably higher than a lot of people would expect them to have, they put their high coefficient purely down to the fact they start early.

"So I think we need to look at those lessons and have a proper discussion with clubs and have an open mind as to when we start.

"But the league can't make many decisions of its own accord.

"We can lead the debate and I think that's the right role for a league.

"Ultimately it's for the clubs to decide what they want to do."

Doncaster, speaking at Hampden where the SPL launched a new three-year partnership with Coca-Cola, was less enthusiastic about the idea of playing right through the summer.

"People talk about summer football but we've got to remember that only three out of the top 25 leagues actually play through the summer," he said. "With the World Cup and European Championship, that's a very difficult prospect."

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