Last Year The SFA Had To Lie About Celtic’s Cup Final Agreement. This Year It Doesn’t.

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Last season, the SFA made the preposterous decision to turn Celtic’s cup final day into a sideshow so that the FA Cup could sit alone in the prime television spot. A lot of us scorned that decision as being yet more fiscally motivated grubbing around in the dirt at the expense of our game, which is exactly what it was. This year there was no chance of that.

The Scottish Cup Final will kick off at 3pm. There is no downgrading it to second-class status this time, and whilst I am highly uncomfortable with the fact that this is largely due to who the two finalists are as much as anything else, I would hope that this is a sign that those who are in charge of Scottish football now recognise their damned role in promoting it.

The decision last year to move to a 5.30 kick-off was quite simply disgusting, especially as one of the finalists was Inverness; an early kick-off would have been more beneficial and sensible for their supporters having to travel home after the game. The SFA apparently did it without bothering to consult a single supporter’s group. Celtic released a statement which pretty much accused the SFA of having lied in their own announcement.

The SFA announcement from that time read as follows;

“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.”

Note that it thanked both clubs. Celtic and Inverness independently revealed the idea that the clubs had signed off on this to be nothing but a barefaced lie.

“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 read. “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.”

It was one of those moments which made you think that in a more robust corporate setting someone would have lost their job. It was a shameless – and failed – attempt by the SFA to palm off some of the blame for a lamentable decision onto other people.

Virtually nobody supported it. Virtually nobody – nobody but the ever-stupid David Tanner – wanted it moved, this time to the earlier spot at 12.30. That would have been a further downgrade, a further act of sabotage. Those who say we should do it for safety reasons should get a grip. If they stopped referring to it as an “Old Firm” derby and ceased promoting it on the basis of hatred then perhaps we’d leech some of the poison out of it.

The Scotsman’s Alan Pattullo has praised the decision whilst speaking for many of us in pointing out that it took a Glasgow Derby before the SFA took the game seriously, as a showcase for our sport. That is the part of it that concerns many of us, of course, those of us who think that the game is only being moved back to its traditional slot because it involves those clubs … but in putting it back to 3pm the SFA is pretty much admitting that it got it wrong before.

And that’s why I welcome it nonetheless, and why most people will. A little common sense has returned to Scottish football’s bizarre little universe. That’s all to the good.

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  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    If they don’t move the next one involving Celtic v Sevco or involving Celtic or Sevco v A.N other then you could say that they deliberately targeted Celtic and Inverness Caley Thistle and in particularly the fans as per usual…

    One could conceivably conclude that well, with Celtic and her supporters having strong Irish and Gaelic roots and also Inverness Caley Thistle having strong Highland and also Gaelic roots, that it (The Cup Final) was disrupted for those sinister and dark art reasons…

    But surely not in ‘modern’ Scotland and in 2024 as well…

    They couldn’t possibly….

    Or could they ? !

  • Gerry says:

    The SFA are a joke and there are not many more ways to put it.

    Last year’s kick off time was a disgrace, and the reality of it all, once again demonstrated, their lack of integrity towards those that matter most …us, the fans, and especially the travel inconveniences for Inverness fans.

    They have no idea how to read a room, unless it’s supporting or pandering to the wishes and complaints of Sevco.

    It’s so interesting, yet unsurprising, that it takes Toby Perkins MP, whilst debating the Football Governance Bill in the House of Commons to give you the clear truth about Sevco’s predecessor!
    Whilst our media and governing bodies try to deny any such thing ever happened! Or in the SMSM’s case, just pretend we never printed any of those headlines !!!The truth is out there in many articles !!!

    No one believes Scottish football is on a positive path, or if it has, or may already have been, infiltrated by criminal elements.

    The only way to start getting confidence back in our game, with unbiased, competent officialdom and governance, is clear reform of everything. Clear out the dinosaurs, cheats and anyone else that does not have the good of Scottish football, and the intended initiation of positive change, moving forward.

    Our club has to be at the forefront of this, with help from other clubs. God help us all, until we see signs that this may happen!!!!

  • pk says: a old school celtic guy,when i was at school in the 50,s this lad said his grandad told him that the scottish s.f.a. was just an extention of the rangers football club and were a boating club ,before they were a football club,it seams they have more power than the scottish goverment and the law system put together,ach who am i,all we can do is just keep puting that ball in the net…………….that will do me/.

  • Brattbakk says:

    Mountains and molehills. Football fans will want to watch both games. Why go head to head with the fa cup?

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