Hearts manager Craig Levein has given his customary forthright views regarding the SPFL’s controversial decision to play both Betfred Cup semi-finals at Hampden on Sunday 28th October.
Aberdeen play Rangers in the first tie which kicks off at 12noon while Hearts face cup holders Celtic at the same venue with a 7.45pm kick-off – a time which hardly encourages families to attend, particularly those of the maroon allegiance.
Speaking at a Hearts media meeting, Levein said:
“We are actually discouraging fans to come to the game. It’s absolute madness. I just don’t understand how they can think it’s all right. It just doesn’t compute with me.
“I have got players talking to me about how disappointed their families are that they can’t come and watch their dad playing in a semi-final.”
Levein said the “It is simply not true to say it is the best solution as it does not suit fans of any of the four clubs. And having 100,000 fans in Glasgow on the same day could go wrong.”
“I want 50% of the tickets, I want to go to Hampden and make it feel like we have a huge Hearts presence there. One thing is for certain we are not getting that on a Sunday night at quarter to eight,” Levein added.
“See if it goes ahead at that time, I want 50% of the tickets. So, if we get 25,000 and only sell 15,000 this club will take no responsibility for that.
“This will fall fair and square at the feet of Neil Doncaster and the SPFL. They made the decision to put a game on which does not suit supporters. It’s absolute madness.
“We have just told them it doesn’t suit us, and Aberdeen have told them it doesn’t suit them. The Old Firm have support from all over the country, so it won’t suit some of their supporters either.”