The SPFL’s decision to schedule both Betfred Cup semi-finals at Hampden on the same day will present a “significant logistical challenge”, ScotRail have admitted.
Hearts’ Betfred Cup semi-final with Celtic will kick-off at 7.45pm on Sunday, 28 October - after the other semi-final between Aberdeen and Rangers at 12pm.
The SPFL confirmed that they will stage both ties at the National Stadium on the same day in a unique move.
The plan is the SPFL’s solution to a problem caused by both Glasgow clubs’ involvement in the Europa League on the Thursday night, which effectively ruled out the normal practice of spreading the games out over the weekend.
Hearts owner Anne Budge expressed serious reservations about the plan, saying she was “astonished” by the decision.
In a statement posted on the Hearts website, Budge expressed concerns for supporters travelling to Hampden.
ScotRail have now released a statement of their own, admitting the fixtures will present a “significant logistical challenge.”
The rail firm said: “This presents a significant logistical challenge which organisers were well aware of before the making the decision.
“We’ll assess all options to see what, if anything, is possible.”
ScotRail also claimed their events team was not consulted by the SPFL in advance of its announcement.
Hearts manager Craig Levein hit out at the SPFL and Neil Doncaster, branding their decision “the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced in football”.
Meanwhile, Aberdeen released a statement saying they were “appalled” by the Hampden schedule.
Aberdeen is around 150 miles from Glasgow and the first train between the two cities on that Sunday arrives 14 minutes after kick-off.
The club statement read: “Yet again, what should be a showpiece occasion is scheduled to start at a time that does not take supporters into account.”
“We appreciate the authorities have a difficult job to schedule games in what is an extremely congested calendar,” the statement continued.
“But to yet again ask our supporters to be in Glasgow for a 12:00 start on a Sunday is, quite frankly, appalling.”
On the same day as the Betfred Cup semis, 13,000 people are also expected to attend Kevin Bridges’ show at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.
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