Celtic and Inverness express disappointment at Scottish Cup final kick-off time as SFA criticised

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The governing body thanked all parties for agreeing to a later 5.30pm kick-off, but Celtic claim they weren’t properly consulted.

Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle have criticised the Scottish FA after announcing that the Scottish Cup final will kick off at 5.30pm on Saturday, June 3 rather than at the traditional time of 3pm.

Fans of both clubs had been waiting for confirmation of the kick-off time after reports that broadcasters were eager to avoid a potential clash with the FA Cup final in England, which sees Manchester United take on city rivals Manchester City at 3pm.

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The Hampden showpiece usually begins at the same time but tournament organisers have instead opted to schedule a later than usual slot for the tie to start and thanked “all parties for their support in ensuring a slot commensurate with Scottish football’s showpiece occasion”.

The Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Inverness has been given a tea-time kick-off. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)The Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Inverness has been given a tea-time kick-off. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
The Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Inverness has been given a tea-time kick-off. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

However, shortly after the Parkhead club released their own statement, claiming they were not consulted properly and that they don’t see any reason for a change of time.

It read: “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.”

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Inverness, similarly, voiced their disappointment, stating that they had raised concerns to organisers in writing ahead of the official decision. The last train to leave Glasgow for Inverness on the day of the final is at 7.40pm, which would not be a viable option for any travelling fans staying until the end of the match.

A message to supporters on Caley Thistle’s website read: “Following on from today’s SFA Cup Final announcement and the rescheduling of our match to 5.30pm on Saturday June 3rd, the club is obviously very disappointed. We believe the showpiece Scottish occasion should have remained at 3pm.

“We made this known to the SFA last Thursday and we reiterated our view in writing on Sunday following our Semi-final win at the weekend. It is certainly not in the interest of both sets of fans and as we know, our own supporters will be greatly inconvenienced by the travel challenges they now face.

“Unfortunately we could not effect the final decision to move the match. We were awaiting the match details and now hope to make ticket information known in the next 24 hours.”

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Celtic, who edged past Rangers 1-0 in the semi-final on Sunday, have their sights set on landing a domestic treble, having already retained the League Cup and closing in on securing the Scottish Premiership title.

Championship side Inverness will be hoping to spoil the Hoops party in Mount Florida, which would ensure they book a place in the Europa League qualifying play-off round if they managed to lift the silverware next month.

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