Rangers 'play SPL joker' for Chelsea friendly

Chelsea midfielders Frank Lampard and Ramires
Chelsea will be the guests for a friendly at Ibrox on 6 August

Rangers are opting out of the third weekend of next season to host a friendly with Chelsea on 6 August.

The Scottish Premier League kicks off again on 23 July, the earliest ever start for the top flight.

However, a "one-off compromise" protocol allows clubs to compete in friendly matches by postponing a game.

The ruling stems from Celtic arranging to play in the Dublin Super Cup over the weekend of 30 and 31 July before the SPL start date was announced.

"I don't think there will be a whole lot of disruption - I think the solution we've come up with is a fair compromise for everyone," said SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster on 1 March when announcing the unprecedented option of cancelling one match to accommodate a friendly.

SPL champions Rangers last faced Chelsea at Ibrox ahead of the 2007/8 campaign, with Filip Sebo and Nacho Novo on target in a 2-0 win.