Celtic have expressed “huge disappointment” that their Scottish Cup final clash with Inverness has been scheduled for an early evening kick-off, in a major break with tradition.
Celtic criticised a lack of consultation after the Scottish Football Association announced that its showpiece game would kick off at 5.30pm on June 3, moving from its long-held 3pm slot.
Reports emerged earlier in the week that the normal time could be moved – possibly to a lunchtime kick-off – to avoid a clash with the Manchester derby FA Cup final, which starts at 3pm and will be broadcast live on both BBC and STV.
Celtic said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
Inverness promised to release a full statement in “due course” but some of their supporters were quick to point out some of the difficulties the change produces, notably that the last train from Glasgow to the Highland city on that day leaves at 7.37pm, giving supporters no chance of travelling home by rail on the day.
After confirming the kick-off time, the Scottish Football Association added: “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.”