Over 4,500 sign Hearts fan's petition against scheduling of Betfred Cup semi-final

A Hearts fan has started a petition against the scheduling of the Betfred Cup semi-finals, warning 'there will be nothing short of carnage' and expecting 'violence on an industrial scale'.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 09:50 am
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 09:51 am

At the time of writing, more than 4,500 football fans have signed the online petition.

A decision was taken by the Scottish Professional Football League on Thursday to host both Betfred Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park on the 28 October.

A Hearts fan has warned of "violence on an industrial scale" at the Betfred Cup semi-finals. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy

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With Celtic and Rangers kept apart in the draw, facing Hearts and Aberdeen respectively, it caused a serious headache in the corridors of the SPFL. Both Glasgow sides play in Europe on the Thursday evening prior to the ties, therefore it was highly unlikely either would be made to play on the Saturday.

There is also a midweek fixture card following the semi-final ties, essentially ruling out a Monday night game.

The SPFL opted, with the advice of Police Scotland, to schedule the Aberdeen v Rangers tie for 12pm and Hearts v Celtic for 7.45pm.

The decision was condemned by both Aberdeen and Hearts, the clubs releasing their own statements on Thursday criticising the scheduling.

Aberdeen called it “appalling” and “inappropriate”, while Hearts owner Ann Budge said the club had “serious concerns” regarding the decision.

A petition was started on change.org on Thursday evening calling for one of the fixtures to be moved to another venue or be played on another date.

It also demanded the removal of the SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

Addressed to the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League (sic) it read: “Quite simply, if 4 football teams play in the same city on the same day there will be nothing short of carnage. Expect violence on an industrial scale. The sfa/SPFL are not fit for purpose, Neil Doncaster must be removed from his role within Scottish football. This can’t be allowed to take place, one fixture must be moved to another venue or date.”

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