Quantcast

MURRAYFIELD DECISION ‘NOT FAIR’, RODGERS

0

BRENDAN RODGERS has slammed the SPFL’s decision to send Celtic to Murrayfield for their Betfred League Cup semi-final clash with Hearts on Sunday, October 28.

The Hoops gaffer branded the bewildering U-turn unfair, advantageous to Craig Levein’s side and indicative of a lack of a forward planning from the league bosses.

The Parkhead outfit, who have won the trophy twice during Rodgers’ reign over the same period, also released a statement demanding to know why their request for a draw to decide on venues had been ignored, calling the decision “IRRATIONAL” and “DISCRIMINATORY”.

Rodgers, preparing for tonight’s Europa League group B encounter with RB Salzburg in Austria, was left puzzled when he heard of the decision, just a day after former Hoops ace Kris Commons was reported in CQN as insisting the holders should always play these ties at Hampden.

He said: “If you’re going to change it, be transparent with it and be fair with it. I don’t think you can just assume that: ‘Right okay, Murrayfield, well Celtic will just go there and play Hearts.’

“I don’t think that is fair. I think for supporters and for clubs and for players and for everyone, transparency is important.

“It’s an easy one. If Murrayfield is an option and so is Hampden, it’s just a draw. Then nobody can complain.

“If you are just assuming that: ‘Right, okay, one is there’ – why would Celtic have to be there?”

The champions now face the Edinburgh side with a 1.30pm kick-off while Sevco Rangers have been handed the later 4pm kick-off against Aberdeen at Hampden.

Hearts used Murrayfield as their temporary home at the start of last season and Rodgers added: “It’s not neutral. You can look at it and it’s fair on everyone to have made a draw.

“We’ll see if it’s for definite, but if it is, I don’t think it’s fair. I just think you have to plan, you have to anticipate, that’s the key to it all.

PETER LAWWELL…”irrational” decision.

“The minute they announced both games were at the same stadium people would have booked boats, flights, travelling up from England or parts of Scotland and having to organise the cost of that.

“If we end up playing at Murrayfield, people would have gone to Edinburgh. So the transparency is key for me.

“I’ve never come across this before. I respect it’s unique, but if you forward plan there is a good chance you might come across this scenario.

‘Then you prepare for it, the clubs know and everyone is calm.”

Hearts used Murrayfield as their temporary home at the start of last season and Rodgers added: “It’s not neutral. You can look at it and it’s fair on everyone to have made a draw.

“We’ll see if it’s for definite, but if it is, I don’t think it’s fair. I just think you have to plan, you have to anticipate, that’s the key to it all.

“The minute they announced both games were at the same stadium people would have booked boats, flights, travelling up from England or parts of Scotland and having to organise the cost of that.

“If we end up playing at Murrayfield, people would have gone to Edinburgh. So the transparency is key for me.

“I’ve never come across this before. I respect it’s unique, but if you forward plan there is a good chance you might come across this scenario.

‘Then you prepare for it, the clubs know and everyone is calm.”

 

Chief executive Peter Lawwell had written to the SPFL seeking a ballot to draw which game went ahead in Edinburgh. A member of the SPFL board, he recused himself from the meeting where the new kick-off times and venues were resolved.

But in a statement last night, Celtic said: “The SPFL Board’s decision not to hold a ballot to decide the venues of the forthcoming semi-final matches is both irrational and discriminatory

“Celtic recognised there was a genuinely difficult problem to resolve. All we asked for was equity of treatment – in other words, a simple ballot of which game went to which venue, so that all clubs would have a 50-50 chance of playing at Hampden.

“We understand that those bodies consulted, including the police and broadcasters, had no preference whatsoever on which match should take place at each venue and, therefore, there was only one appropriate method of reaching a fair outcome.

“The SPFL Board have been unable to produce logic or reason for turning down our modest request.]

“Instead, they have arbitrarily decided that a chosen game should stay at Hampden and the other should go to Murrayfield.

“The interests of our club and supporters have been subordinated to a diktat from the SPFL board which is as unfair as it was unnecessary.”

*DON’T miss the all the action in the unbeatable match report tonight – only in your champion CQN.

 
Click Here for Comments >
Share.

About Author