Just as I posted my last article, Celtic released a scorching statement on the re-scheduled timing of this year’s Scottish Cup Final.
And you know what? It is especially damning in light of the SFA’s own self-congratulatory and smug statement announcing the change, a statement which The Record and other outlets ran without ever checking with the clubs.
Let’s do the SFA statement first.
“The Scottish FA can confirm that the 2022/23 Men’s Scottish Cup Final will take place between Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden Park on Saturday, June 3, with a 5.30pm kick-off. We would like to thank all parties for their support in ensuring a slot commensurate with Scottish football’s showpiece occasion. The match will be broadcast live on BBC One Scotland and on Viaplay.”
Almost as soon as the statement was made, Celtic released their own making it clear that whichever “parties” gave their support to this doesn’t include us.
Indeed, Celtic claims that we were barely consulted about it at all.
“We are hugely disappointed that the Scottish Cup Final has been moved from its traditional 3pm slot, something we don’t believe was necessary, or in the best interests of both sets of supporters,” Celtic’s response reads.
“Additionally, there was no meaningful consultation with Celtic on this matter, in terms of assessing the many issues affecting supporters attending the match – something which is also extremely regrettable.”
Obviously, this is a breaking story, or I’d not be posting it so close to the article I’ve just put up, but Celtic’s statement essentially calls the SFA liars.
Quite how Inverness fans will feel at having to leave Glasgow at 8pm or later, after the match, for a long journey north can only be guessed at and their club might provide some clarity later, but it will hardly be filling them with all the joys of spring.
The SFA claims that it keeps the Scottish Cup Final in “a slot commensurate with Scottish football’s showpiece occasion”.
That might be the most shocking part of their press release.
Because what it actually does, of course, is moves the game to accommodate the one being played in England, so if by that line they mean second best to the fat, bloated leech of a league down south then I would entirely agree.
If they mean it presents our game in a good light, they are howling at the moon.
We are used to the EPL and those in its environs treating this league and this country and the Scottish game with utter contempt.
Decisions like this confirm that its leaders are in no small part responsible for that perception, because this does nothing to challenge it but only highlights the reasons why so many down south view us this way.
It is a disgraceful announcement, and Celtic was right to respond at they have.
It is obvious that this is a story which isn’t even close to being finished yet.