SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster optimistic full crowds can return to Scottish football in three weeks

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster is optimistic full crowds can return to Scottish football after a three-week cap on attendances over the festive period amid rising Covid cases.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster (Pic by Ian Rutherford)

With the Omicron variant consistently seeing over 6000 Scots testing positive daily, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a maximum of 500 people are allowed to attend outdoor events – including football matches – for three weeks from Boxing Day.

This led to the start of the Scottish Premiership winter break being brought forward to this Monday, December 27, with top flight games resuming from Tuesday, January 18.

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Doncaster said: "Ten out of 12 Premiership clubs wanted to postpone games.

"All the signs are that Omicron appears to be less serious than previous variants of Covid-19.

"We are certainly very hopeful that the Scottish government will wish to lift the restrictions as soon as possible. It is our sincere hope that, by working with the Scottish government, that those restrictions are lifted as soon as practically possible and we can get back to full houses and people enjoying their game."

Two rounds of top flight matches have been rescheduled, including Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow derbies.

Doncaster, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, added: "It's really important - the clubs felt this - that we should give every possible chance for fans to be present at what are key games in the fixture calendar.

"New year derbies in particular commercially are worth a huge amount of money to the membership."