As everyone who, like me, waited all day for the post-split fixture list to come out is well aware, it didn’t come out. The list wasn’t published because the fixtures hadn’t been decided. The league was still in “consultation” over it all.
TV companies have had their say. Police had their say. Doubtless there were people at clubs consulted. Everyone got a chance to put across their point, no doubt. Everyone except for the people who actually matter here; the fans.
Reports this morning suggest that it’ll be Tynecastle. Of course.
The club who gives us the least number of tickets after the one from Ibrox. It’s a disgusting decision, an expression of contempt for our club and for our supporters, who were given precisely zero consideration here.
It would be an appalling decision. That’s why I don’t doubt the stories.
Sky Sports Scotland are key culprits here, of course. They’re only one of the driving forces in this bizarre “anomaly” of us playing almost every away match after the Ibrox club has already played.
They’ve missed various games involving us this season too, and forced fans to buy virtual tickets for games. They’ve also missed the last Edinburgh Derby, so of course they would pick this game up first.
Of course they would suddenly take an interest in Hearts.
Let’s face it, the whole concept of the split is a joke. We have the same arguments every year about needing to “balance” the number of home and away ties and we’re only lucky that a skewed fixture list, with the occasional scenario of teams playing those in the top six three times away from home, hasn’t yet been a crucial factor in deciding a title race.
That day will come, and merry Hell will be raised when it does.
But worse is that it gives the fans no ability whatsoever to forward plan or look ahead to the remaining games of the season. And it throws up utter perversions like this, where Sky pretends to actually give a shit about Scottish football just long enough to completely disenfranchise the paying customers. You could have set your watch by this decision.
If this is, in fact, the decision then Celtic should be expressing their utter disgust and doing so loudly.
It’s high time that we introduced minimum allocations for away fans, high time we stopped allowing TV to so thoroughly dominate the landscape … let’s be honest, the Sky deal is worth chump change. It’s embarrassing to cash those cheques when the biggest team in Scotland gets a fraction of what the lowliest team in the EPL does.
And for that we let them dictate decisions like this. It’s just disgusting.