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Friday 30th July 2021

New season starts on Saturday!

The 2021/22 cinch Premiership, cinch Championship, cinch League 1 and cinch League 2 all kick off this weekend

Opening weekend live TV games
Saturday July 31 - Rangers v Livingston - Sky Sports, ko 1.30pm
Saturday July 31 - Heart of Midlothian v Celtic - Sky Sports, ko 8.00pm
Sunday August 1 - Motherwell v Hibernian - Sky Sports, ko 4.30pm
Monday August 2 - Kilmarnock v Ayr United - BBC Scotland, ko 7.45pm

Title defence
Rangers begin the defence of their cinch Premiership trophy against Livingston at Ibrox on Saturday. Steven Gerrard’s side were unbeaten in all 38 league matches last season, winning 32 and drawing six. Championship winners Heart of Midlothian start against Celtic at Tynecastle and League 1 champions Partick Thistle welcome Queen of the South to Firhill. Queen’s Park, who claimed the League 2 title in 2020/21, are away to East Fife on the opening day as they are groundsharing with Partick Thistle while redevelopment work at Lesser Hampden continues.

SPFL newcomers
Kelty Hearts, who beat Brechin City to clinch promotion, play their first game in cinch League 2 when they welcome local rivals Cowdenbeath to New Central Park on Saturday.

Winter break
The cinch Premiership clubs voted firmly in favour of a winter break so the top flight will stop after the derby matches on January 2. cinch Premiership clubs will return to action in round four of the Scottish Cup on January 22, with the cinch Premiership resuming on January 26. Clubs in the cinch Championship, cinch League 1 and cinch League 2 were canvassed about a similar break, but their overwhelming preference was to continue playing throughout January.

Friday night football
Edinburgh City, who are currently based at Ainslie Park but are planning to return to Meadowbank Stadium during the season, will play the majority of their home games on Friday evenings after their request was approved by the SPFL Board.

cinch Premiership post-split fixtures
Fixture rounds 34-38 will be played on the weekends of April 23/24, April 30/May 1 and May 7/8, the midweek of May 10/11, and the weekend of May 14/15. The cinch Championship, cinch League 1 and cinch League 2 conclude at the end of April.

More derbies!
Season 2021/22 will be the first time since 2004/05 that we have had the Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee derbies in the cinch Premiership. The first Ayrshire derby in the league since 1992/93 will be played on matchday one of the cinch Championship when Kilmarnock host Ayr United, live on BBC Scotland on Monday August 2.

New managers for 2021/22
Laurie Ellis (Queen’s Park) 
Malky Mackay (Ross County) 
Barry Ferguson (Alloa Athletic) 
Kevin Thomson (Kelty Hearts) 
Paul Sheerin (Falkirk) 
Peter Grant (Dunfermline Athletic) 
Stevie Farrell (Dumbarton) 
Billy Dodds (Inverness Caledonian Thistle) 
Jamie Hamill (Stranraer) 
Thomas Courts (Dundee United) 
Ange Postecoglou (Celtic)