Fan shares letter sent to SPFL suggesting solution to Betfred Cup scheduling

A fan has shared a letter with the Evening News that he sent to the SPFL highlighting a potential solution to the Betfred Cup semi-final clash. Do you agree with his solution?

Monday, 1st October 2018, 4:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 9:22 am

Dear Mr Doncaster,

In the last few minutes I have read with interest further comments attributed to you with regards the decision to play both Betfred Scottish League Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park on the same day.

You are I’m sure by now fully aware of the widespread anger, disappointment and indeed disillusionment being voiced by many football supporters at this astonishing and in my view shameful decision.

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Has this fan found a more fitting solution to the Betfred Cup semi-final clash?

Once again the loyal followers of our national game have been taken advantage of by those who simply refuse to take into account their best interests and treat them with the respect they deserve.

That you and your colleagues felt able to come to the decision you did yesterday without exploring EVERY SINGLE AVENUE open to you speaks volumes for the utter contempt with which you hold the lifeblood of our game.

That you are completely oblivious or perhaps do not care that thousands of Scottish kids will miss out on the opportunity to attend the upcoming semi-finals should be the thing you are most ashamed about but I can’t imagine that will cross your mind when you are holed up in your corporate box for BOTH matches whilst looking out over a half empty Hampden.

You commented during your most recent whitewash of a press conference that “if anyone had another solution, then great, we’d absolutely look at it”, well here you are Mr Doncaster, here’s a very straightforward solution which would allow the supporters of all 4 clubs involved in the semi-finals a far better chance to attend what should be a great occasion.

To go and support their team in what should be a showpiece in our football calendar, not squeezed in on a Sunday night because people can’t be bothered to get creative and work out a better solution.

League Cup Semi-finals

Sunday 28th October 2018

Hampden Park

Rangers v Aberdeen (move the game back to a time where by the Aberdeen fans can actually get to Glasgow using public transport e.g. 3pm)

Sunday 4th November 2018

Hampden Park

Hearts v Celtic (I note that Kilmarnock play Aberdeen at 12.15pm for TV purposes so I would suggest a Hampden kick off time of circa 2.30-3pm. I further note that Queens Park play at home to Annan Athletic on Saturday 3rd November which is why I have not suggested that date. I’m sure given your assurances with regards 2 games being played within hours of each other that there will be no issues playing 2 games within 24 hours!).

SPFL matches

Saturday 27th October

Dens Park

Dundee v Hearts (goes ahead as planned at 3pm).

Sunday 28th October

Fir Park

Motherwell v Celtic (this fixture was scheduled for Parkhead. Simply swap the fixture between this and the one scheduled between the clubs at Fir Park on Saturday 5th December, a mere month later.

Given the kick off of Aberdeen v Rangers at Hampden have this kick off at 12.30pm meaning it is completed in advance of the semi-final and the fans will not be anywhere near each other.

I’m sure Police Scotland will be very happy to look after the 9-10,000 crowd in Lanark!. You sighted that they would not allow the fixture to be played at Parkhead the same day well here is a very simple answer to that.

Celtic v Hearts league match scheduled for Saturday 3rd November is postponed meaning that it is the only additional match needing a date into 2019. It could also be played, if there is a desperation to do so, on Wednesday 19th December 2018 as there are no midweek fixtures, either domestic or European that midweek.

The above “solution” is in my view extremely practical, very easy to implement, and without question in the best interests of Hearts and Celtic (and indeed the fans of both Rangers and Aberdeen who will be able to enjoy their semi-final in isolation and at a sensible kick off time). It ensures that the most people possible can attend both semi-finals which should be your aim as one of the ‘leaders’ of our game.

It also benefits two of our other clubs in Motherwell and Dundee as they get weekend fixtures against Hearts and Celtic. Win, win, win.

That should be your MO Mr Doncaster, you should be trying to better our game, a game that is often undermined and thrown under the bus. Here’s an opportunity to listen to the feedback of thousands of supporters and do the right thing. I won’t hold my breath but I intend to forward this to a number of other parties including the clubs involved and relevant journalists.

You asked for a “solution”, well here it is!


Andrew Hawkins