A north-east MP has appealed to ministers to back football’s return and help clubs survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
Andrew Bowie, the Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, says the Scottish Premiership’s return – if it is safe – could give public morale a huge boost.
Premier League chiefs in England are in talks over a potential restart on June 8, and Mr Bowie believes the same date could also work north of the border.
And he called on ministers at Holyrood to help sport resume, providing games are played behind closed doors and are shown free-to-air on television.
He said: “Despite the UK’s unprecedented package of support for businesses and individuals, football clubs in Scotland need to play to stay afloat.
“Beyond the financials, the return of live sport – even in a limited way – would have an incalculable value on public morale.
“Of course there are risks, which can and will be managed as in other areas of life.
“If the top tier of English football are able to work safely, I think the SNP government should be working to the same end in Scotland.”
Mr Bowie previously met Dons chiefs to discuss the financial challenges facing Scottish clubs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Scottish Championship, League One and League Two have already been ended for the 2019-20 season following a controversial vote.
But the Premiership season could yet be played to a conclusion – with the Dons sitting in fourth spot with eight games to go.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “We understand the importance of sports – particularly football – to the people of Scotland, and a desire from many to see our national game and other sports resume, but ensuring the rate of infection is kept as low as possible to protect the NHS and save lives is, and will continue to be, our highest priority.
“A series of virtual meetings led by Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and Sport Joe Fitzpatrick, involving senior representatives from the Scottish FA and SPFL, will take place to discuss how football and other sports can resume when it is safe to do so but any relaxation of measures will be guided by scientific evidence.”