“The Scottish FA’s preference was for three o’clock on a Saturday”, so SFA chief exec, Ian Maxwell told the media yesterday about Celtic and Inverness’ Scottish Cup Final on 3 June. Having stood on this plank, he then prevaricated.
“It’s very much a flagship competition for us.” So convinced is he of this, that he moved it from the flagship kick off time.
“The English FA Cup final is on at three o’clock, the Women’s Champions League final is at three o’clock. So you have a decision to make: do you go up against them and diminish the competition and reduce the viewership that you could get across the UK or do you move it and try and give it its own breathing space?”
Flagships have their own orbit. If you want to move them to avoid bodies with greater orbits, you don’t really believe in your flagship.
He then co-opted Inverness into the decision, as the club thought a 12:30 kick off was even worse than 17:30.
There was also trite and inaccurate mumblings about the Cup Final being shown live on BBC One throughout the UK, which will not happen.
It be overwhelmingly Celtic fans who watch the Scottish Cup Final on TV, Inverness fans will all be at Hampden, how many neutrals are likely to tune into a game with so little promise of competitive drama?
If you know where to look for it, BBC Scotland is available in the rest of the UK. How many viewers do the SFA believe they will attract in rUK, in the hours after a Manchester derby FA Cup Final? It will be low thousands and scant reward for inconveniencing two sets of fans who are thrilled to be in the Scottish Cup Final, which, unlike the SFA execs, genuinely believe it is a flagship occasion.