Hearts/Hibs round-up: Play-off TV/Plastic pitch

Hibs boss Terry Butcher.  Pic: Robert Perry
Hibs boss Terry Butcher. Pic: Robert Perry
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A full round-up of the Hearts/Hibs news making the headlines this morning, as well as stories from the rest of Scotland and beyond.

Play-off but no pay off in TV deal

The crunch play-off matches between Hibs and Hamilton Accies will be screened live by Sky Sports and BT Sport - but there will be no cash bonus for the league.

Contractual obligations have already been met this season, meaning the broadcasters are able to screen the games for free. Tomorrow’s first leg at New Douglas Park will be shown on Sky Sports 1 while BT Sport will show the second-leg from Easter Road on Sunday. The match will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland.

SPFL Chief Neil Doncaster said: “We’re delighted to confirm Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC Scotland will all play a role in bringing both legs to fans across Scotland.” (Daily Record)

Plastic pitch practice makes perfect for Hibs

Hibs have been training for their play-off tie first leg on Spartan’s plastic pitch.

Boss Terry Butcher decided to take up the offer as a way to prepare his side for the astroturf at Hamilton Accies’ New Douglas Park - and as way to get his players out of their comfort zone.

Hibs have a synthetic training surface at their East Mains training facility, but Butcher instead asked to use the pitch of their lowland league neighbours.

“It was important we play on a surface resembling those at Hamilton and Falkirk,” he said. “We’ve had good sessions on the astro and the players have enjoyed it. Spartans have been brilliant and it’s been good to come out of our comfort zone.” (Daily Record)

Farewell Faddy

Motherwell have parted company with Scotland striker James McFadden, admitting they could not afford to offer him a new contract.

The Fir Park club, where McFadden first emerged, broke the news to the player on Friday. Boss Stuart McCall said”Everything was very amicable. I cannot speak highly enough of his attitude, desire and professionalism while he was here.” (various)

+In brief:

• Manchester United will spend a second successive summer preparing for a new era after finally confirming the appointment of Louis van Gaal as manager.

• Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham led the tributes to Ryan Giggs following the Welshman’s decision to bring his glittering playing career to a close.

• Ashley Cole has announced he is set to leave Chelsea.

• A Football Association equality panel will meet on Tuesday to discuss the Richard Scudamore sexist emails case after the Premier League chief executive received full backing from clubs.