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SFA President Campbell Ogilvie forecasts summer football switch for Scottish game

SFA president Campbell Ogilvie believes Scottish football is finally getting serious about moving to a summer season.

The veteran administrator, a major supporter of playing more youth and professional games in the better weather, feels his case has been strengthened by the fact that more Scottish teams than ever face key European preliminary ties in early to mid-July.

Four out of ten fans backed such a move in a recent survey. And, with his four-year term of office due to expire next summer, Ogilvie is hoping for lasting progress on this issue.

Of all the teams Celtic could be paired with tomorrow in their first-round Champions League qualifier, the likes of Irish outfit St Patrick's Athletic, Malmo of Sweden and Norwegian side Stromsgodset all operate some variation of a summer season.

"When we looked at this at the beginning, it was under 'change of season' for the whole game," said Ogilvie.

"Then the whole SPL/SPFL thing kicked off and it fell by the wayside. But I think things will evolve. We are now at a situation where teams are starting in Europe in early July.

" Next year's Champions League final is on June 6. There is an international match [against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin] a week later. We used to start European games in mid- September. The league was late August and the cup a few weeks earlier.

"But we've reached a stage in Scottish football when we need to seriously sit down and look at the fixtures.

"When you have teams playing in July, you have to look at the calendar."

Other items on Ogilvie's agenda include more talks on safe standing areas, a possible relaxation of rules on serving alcohol within stadia and improving the pathway to take promising youngsters into first teams across the country.

"We can look at how we loan players," said Ogilvie. "Do we have a separate development loan for players under-20 that would operate at a different system to loaning players who are 26, 27 and moving to save money?

"I am discussing it with some of the other European countries, we discussed it last week."

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