Scottish FA & SPFL both open to kick-off moves to help amid energy crisis

Clubs have been told they can schedule earlier kick-off times for Scottish Cup ties this season to help mitigate against the cost of energy bills – and league matches could follow suit.

The Scottish FA have said the option to move games to save on lighting and heating costs is available, should both teams in a fixture agree to any change.

It is unclear whether that status will continue later in the competition.

The SPFL would be open to any requests to move league games, too.

With the price of gas and electricity rocketing – and commercial bills not limited by a cap – there is growing concern about the cost of staging games in the autumn and winter, given the need for more lighting in particular.

Rescheduling matches so they finish before it gets dark would alleviate the issue and the league would be minded to move the kick-off time of a fixture if both clubs agreed.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said the association is “committed to exploring methods that could help mitigate the effects of the crisis within Scottish football”.

He added: “This logical step to help reduce costs is just one avenue in which the Scottish FA will look to support clubs throughout this challenging period and we welcome further discussion on ways to help alleviate the increase in costs.”

Clubs in the first round of the Scottish Cup have also been told they can stream any non-televised tie, so long as it kicks off before the long-established blackout period of 14:45-17:15 on Saturdays.

Talks are ongoing with broadcasters about the potential of streaming matches in later rounds.

Original article published 08.09.2022 on the BBC Sport website.

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