NEIL Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive, is confident there will be no repeat of the infamous 1999 Old Firm “shame game” when Celtic and Rangers meet after the Ladbrokes Premiership top-six split, writes Matthew Lindsay.

The SPFL will release the post-split fixtures early next week following the final round of top flight games this weekend.

It has been suggested the governing body are keen to avoid a scenario where Celtic can wrap up their seventh consecutive Scottish title by beating their city rivals at Parkhead.

There was on and off-field unrest back in 1999 when Rangers clinched the league amid disgraceful scenes at Celtic Park in the last Glasgow derby game to kick off at 6.05pm.

But Doncaster believes Scottish football has changed beyond recognition since those days and is confident Ian Blair, the SPFL secretary, will ensure that any potential flashpoints are avoided.

“The post-split fixtures are nothing new for us,” he said. “It is the 18th consecutive season where we have had post-split.

“That creates imbalances. Teams will gain or lose a home game and may play rivals three and may play rivals three times at home or three times away. That is the nature of the split. It is inevitable. It is a mathematical certainty that will arise on many occasions.

“In terms of the scheduling of games, that is an issue that we will continue to work with the broadcasters and the police on to achieve the best possible outcome.

“That is an area where Iain Blair will work closely with the police and the broadcasters to ensure we have the best possible set of post-split fixtures, but also scheduling that works best for all parties, particularly the police and the broadcasters.”

Doncaster added: “The game has moved on enormously (since 1999). A week is a long time in football now. What has also moved on is the relationship that we have with Police Scotland and with the broadcasters.

“We understand each other’s needs and wants, we work together to achieve the scheduling and the fixture list that is best for everyone. I don’t envy Iain Blair that process, but I am confident he will do it well.”

Celtic could have wrapped up their seventh Scottish title against Hamilton tomorrow, but they drew 0-0 with Dundee at Parkhead on Wednesday.