Football: Scots set earlier kick-offs

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The Independent Online
THE SCOTTISH Premier League yesterday announced that the final fixtures of the season will kick-off at 12.30pm on Sunday, 23 May. Under the original agreement signed 12 months ago between the Scottish Premier League and Sky TV, the matches were scheduled to start at 6.05pm.

However, following further consultations between those two parties as well as the police and supporters' representatives, it has been agreed to bring the kick-offs forward.

Roger Mitchell, the SPL chief executive, said: "Sky and the police authorities are to be commended for their flexibility. It has been an extremely complicated process but we are hopeful that it will prove popular with fans and viewers alike. Due to the fact the football season in England will have finished, there is the opportunity to schedule the last day's matches for 12.30pm on Sunday.

"Hopefully the weather will be kind and we can have real family atmosphere for our final fixtures of the season."

Despite the alterations, the situation is likely to arise again next season. Mitchell said: "We have been discussing the fixture arrangements for several weeks now and separate discussions for next year are still on-going. At present we are unable to arrive at a time which suits those involved. The likelihood is that the 6.05pm slot will be maintained for next year."