Oh dear, it’s not been a great couple of weeks for the national stadium. It is, however, almost an innocent bystander this time as the blame for the latest farce surrounding the League Cup semi finals lies squarely at the door of Neil Doncaster and the SPFL.
The decision to play the two semis on the same day, at the same venue has been met with widespread condemnation, for a variety of different reasons. Firstly, it should have never have came to this.
Three of the the four teams in the semi finals could have had European football on Thursday nights, this was known when the fixtures for the League Cup were drawn up. Surely, the most simple way to avoid this was to arrange the semis on a week when there is no European football, like the week before or the week after. The easiest and simplest road is often the one less travelled in Scottish football. For years, these fixtures were midweek affairs which you would think would have killed this situation too. Although, knowing the SPFL they would have probably arrange them for the night before the Europa League games.
There are however some gripes that I need to take issue with, because not everything needs to be absolute. There has been cries from some of the more predictable types in the media that the four teams meeting in the same place on the same day is a recipe for a bloodbath. I don’t think so.
Certainly, there is a possibility of small isolated incidents of violence breaking out. The chances of this happening has also been increased with this decision, which is one reason why it should have been avoided. But is there going to be a full scale riot resulting in a Scottish football Royal Rumble in the southside of Glasgow? No. At least, there shouldn’t be if Police Scotland do their job properly.
Aberdeen and their fans have been complaining about having to play a lunchtime kickoff on a Sunday in Glasgow. Tough, suck it up. We’ve spent years playing lunchtime kickoffs in Aberdeen and further afield so my sympathy for this is significantly low.
“But the trains don’t come in from Aberdeen until after the game starts!” They cry! Well that’s not ideal but if you’re really that bothered about going to the game you’ll find another way to get there on time.
For those saying that this not a decision being made with fans in mind, you’re right, it’s not. However, that ship sailed a long time ago when leagues and teams became reliant on TV money. Complaining about it sporadically when it rarely affects you comes across as a little disingenuous and self preservative.
From a Rangers point of view, it will likely have little impact on us. We’re used to playing early Sunday kickoffs and we’re used to playing semi finals with little opposition fans there, if that’s what’s going to happen.
Once again however, we are all facing a stupid, confusing and totally avoidable situation that could only happen in Scotland.
David Marshall (@marshalldave38)