When Hearts v St Mirren could be played amid fixture pile up
The Hearts squad will get a much-needed breather this weekend after the decision was made to postpone all Scottish Premiership fixtures as a show of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Tynecastle side were due to play St Mirren at home on Sunday, which would’ve been their 11th fixture since the end of July as their participation in European competition has really put a strain on the squad.
The game will still have to be played at some point, but the question is… when? It’s already a hectic fixture schedule with football associations cramming in as many domestic games, not to mention the group stages of the three European competitions, prior to the winter World Cup in Qatar.
There is one particular date which stands out as an easy solution to this isolated fixture. A couple of embarrassing results in the Premier Sports Cup, going down to both Arbroath and Airdrieonians, meant St Mirren were eliminated in the first round of the competition. The defeat to Kilmarnock in the last 16 also meant Hearts fell at the first hurdle they faced.
The quarter-finals of Scotland’s secondary cup competition will take place on Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th of October. Due to playing in Florence the previous Thursday, Hearts will be in action on Sunday, October 16 as Robbie Neilson’s men travel to Aberdeen. This doesn’t leave enough time between matches for the rearranged St Mirren game to take place on the Tuesday, so it’ll likely be Wednesday, October 19.
The SPFL could decide, however, that the full fixture card should be played on the same date. If that’s the case then the match won’t be played again until after the New Year. There are no midweek dates free between now and the World Cup.
There is the possibility of matches being scheduled during the World Cup. Such a decision would bring its own set of problems with diminished interest from supporters as the global spectacle dominates football news, while a few clubs would have players unavailable. Hearts will likely see Kye Rowles, Nathaniel Atkinson and potentially Cammy Devlin travel to the Middle East due to Australia’s participation at the tournament.