SPL may consider extended season due to fixture pile-up
Blair faces an arduous task to reschedule numerous SPL games
Scottish Premier League secretary Iain Blair says continued disruption to fixtures may force the SPL to consider extending the season.
Four of Saturday's SPL games were called off due to weather-related problems, adding to several postponements earlier in December.
"It's not something we're looking at this point in time," said Blair.
"But if there's severe congestion and no other alternatives then it's something we have done once before."
Blair is hopeful of rescheduling the outstanding fixtures but admits further cancellations would put the league in difficulty.
"It (extending the season) is not the first port of call in terms of resolving the problems," said Blair. "We would see to what extent we can actually get the fixtures played.
"The unknown at this point is progress in terms of the Scottish Cup for all the Premier clubs, because they only come in in January, and obviously we've still got Rangers in Europe and hopefully they will continue to be in Europe for some time.
"What actually happens is that the opportunity to slot games in reduces and there does come a point at which you think, 'well the only way we can do this is by extending the season'.
"But before we get to that stage, we would consider things such as having four games in eight days, which we try and avoid doing. We had a situation where Dunfermline had to play four games in a week, I know it happened to Rangers in 2008 and it has happened on one or two other occasions.
It's a difficult situation, only a fool would say that it wasn't
"I certainly don't remember quite so much congestion by this stage in the season previously.
"There is still some flexibility in the calendar in terms of getting matches played midweek. We can schedule matches up against the Champions League and the Europa League. It's not something we like to do but that is a possibility.
"There is a real difficulty in terms of those matches that are scheduled in that way, we're simply not allowed by Uefa for those to be broadcast live so there are issues then about talking to the broadcasters about the best way to resolve the whole situation.
"It's a difficult situation, only a fool would say that it wasn't but if we were to get the matches played reasonably regularly from now on then I think we can cope with it."
One further complication to the rescheduling process concerns games that were due to be broadcast live on either Sky Sports or ESPN.
"We certainly talk to the broadcasters when a televised game is postponed," said Blair. "Nine times out of 10, the broadcaster selected the game because it's a game they want to cover and they will follow the game.
"Very occasionally, there is simply a situation which doesn't allow that to happen, perhaps because we need the game to be played on a particular date and the broadcaster simply cannot cover for whatever reason on that date.
Hamilton's match with Celtic was called off on Saturday morning
Two of Saturday's postponements, Rangers v St Mirren and Hamilton v Celtic, fell victim to problems relating to burst pipes.
"It's very disappointing and obviously the clubs are working to ensure that they don't lose games," said Blair. "Believe me, neither Hamilton nor Rangers would in any way have wished for these games not to take place.
"But we have had some very extreme weather over the last two or three weeks and that's what's caught folk out and presented the problem.
"I certainly wouldn't like to have been the maintenance manager at Ibrox to tell Walter Smith that he wasn't going to be able to get his game on because I know that he has expressed concerns about fixture congestion relatively recently.
"At Hamilton, my understanding is that there was a burst pipe of some description, which was in close proximity to some electrical installation and the electrical installation was part of the undersoil heating system.
"So there seems to have been concerns about the electrical system because of a burst locally. I don't think the burst was actually in the undersoil heating. As we do in any of these cases where something unexpected happens relatively close to the game, we will investigate the situation."
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