Premiership fans will be able to watch all games at home

Clubs will be able to sell 'virtual season tickets' under SPFL deal with Sky Sports.

Premiership fans will be able to watch all games at home SNS

Scottish Premiership clubs are to create “virtual season tickets” for the 2020/21 campaign, allowing fans to watch all home games.

The move comes as the SPFL and Sky Sports agreed on a plan for top-flight football to resume in August behind closed doors.

With social distancing restrictions preventing crowds at matches, clubs will instead be able to sell a package to season ticket holders to watch all home games via live streams.

Numbers allowed to access the streams will be capped at the respective clubs’ season ticket holder numbers from the 2019/20 campaign.

Sky Sports’ five-year deal allows it to show 48 matches each season, but clubs will now be allowed to stream all other fixtures.

The SPFL and Sky have also reached a settlement to cover the games unable to be completed last season across the term of the new five-year contract.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “This is an innovative and pragmatic solution to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and I’m grateful for the flexibility shown by our clubs and by Sky Sports.”

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack welcomed the news and said he hoped fans could start to return to stadia this winter.

He said: “Aberdeen welcomes the Sky deal brokered by the SPFL.

“From the outset our commitment to supporters has been to deliver full value for our season ticket holders.

“Under this deal, Aberdeen FC will be able to offer virtual access to season ticket holders for all closed-door home games and will continue to work with our colleagues at fellow Premiership clubs to explore potential arrangements to show away games.

“There will be costs involved for us in implementing this broadcast deal but, allied with the suggested timetable for getting back to football, it gives us more certainty.

“We’re really excited about getting back to training later this month with a view to closed door games kicking off at the start of August and whilst we appreciate we are operating under ever-changing circumstances we’re preparing, and hoping, to return to Pittodrie with partial crowds from November or December and full crowds in January 2021.”

The SPFL is working with the 30 clubs from the Scottish Championship, League 1 and League 2 to ascertain if a virtual season ticket model is possible for the lower leagues.

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