Scottish Premiership officially allowed to return on August 1

Scottish football will officially return on August 1 after the Scottish government gave a return the all clear.

Fixtures were provisionally released earlier this week while waiting on the thumbs up from those running the country and it has now happened with games to take place from the first weekend in August.

The joint response group received written approval on Friday and it also allows clubs to play friendly games with immediate effect.

All games have to be played behind closed doors and SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has hailed the government for giving the green light to clubs.

He said: “Today’s approvals are a significant step forward for Scottish Premiership clubs and provide the necessary clarity to prepare for the new season. The ability for clubs to arrange and participate in friendly matches is important on and off the field as momentum builds towards what will be a welcome and exciting return to Scottish football starting 1 August.”

Record Sport revealed earlier this week that Rangers were eyeing a friendly with Hamilton Accies this weekend while the rest of the Premiership are also hoping to hold bounce games.

With just three weeks to go until the season kicks off, Celtic are currently in England doing a training camp while most clubs have stayed at home.

Neil Lennon’s men kick-off their season on August 2 against Hamilton Accies while there are four games on the first Saturday.

(Image: SNS Group)

Rangers travel to Pittodrie to take on Aberdeen in the 5.30pm kick-off while Dundee United take on St Johnstone, Hibs face Kilmarnock and St Mirren host Livingston in the 3pm games. Motherwell travel to Ross County on the Monday night.

SFA interim president Mike Mulraney said: “Scottish football, and the millions of fans for whom the national game is a fabric of their daily lives, are now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s approval of the August 1 start date for the Scottish Premiership and the ability for Premiership clubs to prepare for that kick-off immediately.

“The First Minister’s updated guidance also gives great encouragement for boys and girls across the country that grassroots football for under-18s will soon return.

“The JRG has been in daily liaison with government advisers to get us to this point. I would urge everyone to continue to adhere to the public health messages to ensure no complacency as the return to football becomes tantalisingly close.

“We will continue to plan for the return of the game at all levels and communicate milestones at the appropriate time. I would like to pay tribute to the work of the JRG, its sub groups and everyone involved in the game for the efforts that have gotten us to this point.”

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