Celtic boss says Hearts cup semi-final switch is '˜unfair'

Brendan Rodgers has questioned the process behind the Scottish Professional Football League's decision to take Celtic's Betfred Cup semi-final with Hearts to Murrayfield.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 8:27 pm
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 2:33 am

The SPFL was forced into a rethink over plans to stage both Rangers’ last-four showdown with Aberdeen and Celtic’s semi-final clash with Hearts at Hampden on the same day later this month following a backlash.

The league body confirmed the switch on Wednesday, with the home of Scottish rugby staging the Hearts-Celtic game at 1.30pm, while the Rangers-Aberdeen clash remains at Hampden but with a later kick-off time of 4.30pm.

Hearts played several games at Murrayfield at the beginning of last season when their main stand was being refurbished.

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is 'disappointed with the process'

Ahead of the Europa League Group B clash with Red Bull Salzburg on Thursday night, the Hoops boss said: “My initial reaction is that I don’t mind where we play, whether it is Hampden or Murrayfield.

“My feeling would be I am disappointed with the process. It is unfair.

“We all see the sense in not having the two games on the one day at the same venue, it probably didn’t seem right for everyone.

“So at least there is a decision made to take it away from Hampden but then you have to be fair to all four teams and all sets of supporters.”

Rodgers added: “The minute it is booked that we were playing at a quarter to eight (at Hampden) there will be people who booked flights, boats, organised cars, and now for it to change and play elsewhere, I just think it is an unfair process.

“It feels as if it is assumed that Celtic and Hearts should go to Edinburgh. And if they are talking about a neutral venue it is certainly not neutral with Hearts having played part of their season there last season.

“We are happy to be in the semi-final, but I think the process is unfair.”