'We share their frustration' - Hearts back rivals Hibs as Betfred Cup semi-final ticket row escalates
Hearts have backed rivals Hibs as they informed supporters that the SPFL has reduced their ticket allocation for the Betfred Cup semi-final against Rangers next month.
A statement from the Easter Road side highlighted the "disappointing and frustrating" response from the league after learning of a "unilateral decision to reduce the club's ticket allocation".
Hibees chief executive Leeann Dempster said in a statement: "Whilst the club accepts the need to ensure the best possible attendance at showpiece games, it is our view that it would have been reasonable and practicable for the SPFL to accede to our request to retain a higher number of less expensive tickets.
"The decision taken means the vast majority of Hibs fans now wishing to go to the game will have to pay the higher price ticket regardless of their age or status.”
Hearts indicated that they had been holding regular talks with the SPFL over the last fortnight in a bid to prevent any reduction "being imposed prematurely".
But, although confirming there had been "some success" in postponing the league's decision, a spokesperson for Hearts said in a statement: "We share the frustration expressed by Hibs."
While both clubs accept the need to ensure the best possible attendance at the semi-finals, the Tynecastle side are understood to have taken issue with the timing of the SPFL's response.
"While we accept this principle, we do not accept that the timing of their intervention, in this case, has been reasonable," the statement continued.
Hearts have around 1,000 tickets remaining in Hampden's East Stand, priced at £25 for adults and £10 for concessions, as well as around 2,500 tickets in the South Stand priced at £30.
There are no concession tickets available in that section, with those seeking concession briefs encouraged to buy seats in the East Stand sooner rather than later.
However, Hearts are "confident that all supporters who wish to attend the semi-final should be able to do so."