Lower league football will return to Scottish grounds on Saturday 20th March.
Elgin ranks second in the second division and will resume on March 20, but the league format has yet to be finalized. Image: Daniel Forsyth ..
However, a 22-game split-league finish proposed by leagues 1 and 2 clubs has raised concerns in the Scottish Professional Football League.
The SPFL board met yesterday to consider a number of requests from clubs in the lower two tiers whose season has been suspended since Jan. 11.
The clubs asked the board to:
- Approve a restart of the league on Saturday March 20th
- Reconsider the SPFL’s concerns about a 22-game season, including a split after 18 games.
- Schedule the League 1 and 2 games up to and including May 15th, two weeks later than originally planned
- Postpone the start date of the play-offs from May 5th to May 19th.
The SPFL board has already approved the resumption of the game on March 20th. The fixtures will be published shortly.
The format of the league finish has not yet been determined.
Current league 1 tableCurrent league 2 table
The final decision on how to complete the campaign rests with the clubs in each of the two lower leagues, and the SPFL has no jurisdiction on this matter.
The clubs voted for reduced games for 27 games at the beginning of the campaign, with the ten clubs in each division meeting three times.
This option does not appear to be currently achievable due to the limited time window, so the 22-game split is expected to occur as it is believed to be the preferred option for the majority of teams in the 1st and 2nd division.
An alternative option to further reduce the season to a schedule of 18 games, with teams ending after every two fixtures, is seen as less supported.
An SPFL spokesman said: “However, the board remains concerned about the realistic ability of Bundesliga 1 and 2 clubs to complete a 22-game season, including the introduction of a new ‘split’ in each division.
“Such a schedule would mean that a club would have to suspend one round of post-split games in each half of the split, including the last day of the season.
“It would also severely limit the SPFL’s flexibility to schedule games in the event of a future Covid-19 interruption, and there is a risk of part-time clubs having to play Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday.
“It is also guaranteed that at least one League 1 or 2 club will make it through to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, which creates further pinning challenges.”
“However, the SPFL Board respects the right of Bundesliga 1 and 2 clubs to determine how many league games they want to play this season.
“The SPFL board has therefore asked the representatives of League 1 and League 2 to examine how the board should deal with a club that cannot complete a 22-game program in the time available.”
“Only then can the board of directors examine the requests to push back the dates of the play-offs.”
SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan added: “We are delighted that League 1 and 2 clubs have come together to propose a way for their season to resume.
“However, it is our duty to emphasize that the SPFL Board has serious reservations about the practicality of part-time clubs able to end a 22-game season, including a ‘split’, in time to end the season compete against each other. off.
“In the opinion of the board of directors, an 18-game season would have created a lot more flexibility. However, we respect the right of Bundesliga 1 and 2 clubs to determine how many games they play this season.”