Professional football continues despite national lockdown

Scottish Government guidance provides exemption for those involved in professional sports.

Professional football continues despite national lockdown SNS Group

Professional football will continue in Scotland despite the country entering into a new period of lockdown from Tuesday.

Scots will be legally required to stay at home throughout January except for essential circumstances.

The Scottish Government has published a list of examples of reasonable excuses for being able to leave your home – this includes those involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event.

The 2019-20 SPFL season was brought to an abrupt end after a majority of member clubs approved a resolution by the league governing body.

Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were crowned champions of their respective divisions and promoted last April.

A month later, Celtic were crowned Premiership champions and Hearts were relegated after a points-per-game basis was used to determine final league positions in the top flight.

Rangers currently hold a huge 19-point lead over their Glasgow rivals Celtic at the top of this season’s Premiership table, although the Parkhead club has three games in hand.

Clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two are playing a shortened 27-game season, running from October to April.

If future coronavirus measures affect professional sport, authorities will be keen to avoid a repeat of the controversial voting process to end last season’s campaign

While the resolution was overwhelmingly backed by Premiership clubs and clubs in League One and Two, one crucial vote remained outstanding in the Championship.

It emerged Dundee voted against the proposal, but then asked for the vote to be withdrawn after it was claimed by the SPFL that the vote had not been registered.

After consulting legal advice, Partick Thistle – who stood to be relegated from the Championship if Dundee changed their vote from no to yes – claimed the Dens Park club’s original vote must stand.

Hearts and Partick Thistle went to the Court of Session with a petition calling for the 2019-20 season’s relegation and promotion decisions to be reversed or else to award Hearts £8m in compensation and Partick Thistle £2m.

But both clubs eventually lost their arbitration proceedings against the SPFL and were relegated from their respective divisions.

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