IAN Maxwell, the SFA chief executive, has expressed confidence the Ladbrokes Premiership will be able to resume in August ahead of a meeting with the Scottish government.

The SFA and SPFL will outline the plans they have for restarting football to Holyrood on Friday and Maxwell is hopeful they will be satisfied with the measures they are proposing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking on Sportsound on BBC Radio Scotland earlier today, he revealed the sub-groups set up by the joint response group have devised a three stage strategy.

He is optimistic the 2020/21 campaign can get underway as scheduled if Premiership clubs get the go-ahead to return to training on June 10.

“The big issue on the horizon at the moment is the meeting we have next Friday with the Scottish government,” he said.

“That gives Scottish football the chance to outline the plans that we have to make sure football can return in a safe and appropriate manner when the time is right. That has got to be the focus for us all at the moment.

“We are working through a three stage plan similar to the plan that the government announced. We are taking a phased approach to it. It will start with a return to training, it will then move on to a return to matches and then it will obviously move on to spectators being allowed to return to stadiums at some point.

“We have a four to six week training schedule which the medical groups are working through.

“The SPFL have said, for obvious reasons, they would like to get the games started back in August and we can fit the plans that we have from a training perspective around about those timescales.

"I think it is likely that we will see football in August. We have seen it in countries across Europe, whether they are finishing league programmes or looking to start next season’s programmes. It is definitely achievable.

“The plans that we have put in place are comprehensive. We have to make sure we are giving the government comfort and are doing it in such a way that keeps the players, the staff and everybody involved in the game safe. I am sure we can do that.”

Maxwell continued: “The information we had from the government was that the NHS was on an emergency footing until June 10 and there would be no real relaxation of restrictions until that point.

“Obviously, they have released their phased plan and phase two of that plan talks about a return to professional sport. That ties in with June 10.

“It is fluid and can change. But we have to go on the expectation and hope that it won’t and the numbers in terms of the virus will continue to decrease. That will give us the opportunity to plan for then.

“There is no reason why we can’t be back training then and playing six weeks after that.”