Hearts owner Ann Budge: Celtic’s Murrayfield claim is ‘nonsense’

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Hearts owner Ann Budge has dismissed Celtic’s complaints over the choice of BT Murrayfield as venue for their Betfred Cup semi-final as “nonsense”.

READ MORE - Why there’s no significant advantage for Hearts playing at Murrayfield

Hearts owner Ann Budge. Picture: Getty

Hearts owner Ann Budge. Picture: Getty

After originally deciding to host the match at Hampden Park with a 7.45pm kick-off, the SPFL bowed to supporter pressure and decided to switch the clash to the home of Scottish Rugby. The other semi-final, between Aberdeen and Rangers, remains at Hampden.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers expressed his disappointment with the decision, saying it was no longer a neutral venue as Hearts had played at Murrayfield four times last season.

The club’s board then released a statement where they described the decision not to hold a ballot to decide which game would be played at Murrayfield as “irrational” and “discriminatory”.

The Hearts owner, however, believes there is no significant advantage to be had from the game taking place in Edinburgh.

“It is of course a neutral venue,” Budge told STV.

“We played four games there at the beginning of last season and Celtic, as we all know, have also played at Murrayfield, I think the same number of games, if not more.

“Our team has changed drastically, less than half the team have experience of playing at Murrayfield and they won’t necessarily be in the side when we do play. So I think to suggest it’s not a neutral venue is quite frankly a nonsense.

“If you look at the other side of it, if we then assume Hampden therefore would be a neutral venue, I think I have a very strong argument that says Celtic have been there a heck of a lot more than Hearts have unfortunately.

“Honestly I think it’s a fatuous argument, I don’t think it holds water.”