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Scottish Premiership set to pilot fan return at three matches

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Scottish Premiership fans are set to be allowed back in stadiums for up to three matches on a test basis on September 12 after government talks.

Scottish Football’s Joint Response Group on Friday said Sports Minister Joe Fitzpatrick had confirmed three Premiership pilot events could take place.

“If successful, this would be part of a phased return of supporters to football stadia with incrementally increased numbers in the weeks following the initial pilot event date,” a statement said.

“The JRG will be liaising with Premiership clubs and the Scottish Government over the next week to finalise details.”

A BBC report said Rangers’ match against Dundee United at Ibrox and champions Celtic’s trip to Ross County are likely to be chosen for the tests, with one additional fixture from that weekend’s games also possible.

The Scottish Premiership test events are expected to have crowds in the low hundreds.

The BBC said all Scottish top-flight clubs could host limited numbers of fans from the following weekend if the test games are successful.

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Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor confirmed his club have submitted plans for their match with Celtic to be a test match, with only some season ticket holders allowed to attend.

“Numbers will be down to the government, that won’t be our decision,” he told BBC Scotland.

“We’ve done ground plans for social distancing and everything else, but we realise we have to go with the government and carry out everything to the letter of the law on the day.

“We’re well prepared for it and know exactly what we’re going to do. I don’t see any major difficulties in a test at all.”

In England, Premier League clubs finished last season with all matches played behind closed doors.

The aim is to get fans back into stadiums in the Premier League by October, with Brighton and Chelsea due to play a friendly in front of 2,500 supporters at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

VANGUARD

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