Inverness hand back Scottish Cup final tickets after ‘sluggish’ sales as Celtic to gain extra briefs
The Scottish Championship side will be supported by under 10,000 fans at the national stadium on Saturday evening.
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Treble-chasing Celtic are expected to be given THOUSANDS of additional Scottish Cup final tickets after opponents Inverness Caledonian Thistle were forced to hand back unsold briefs for the end-of-season showpiece to the SFA.
The Scottish Sun report that ‘sluggish’ sales for the match - largely due to the re-scheduled kick-off time on Saturday evening - had led club officials to make the decision, meaning the Championship side will be cheered on by around 6,000 fans at the national stadium.
The game was moved from its traditional 3pm kick-off time to 5.30pm owing to a potential TV clash with the English FA Cup final and Women’s Champions League final, which take place at the same time. It left Inverness supporters facing severe travel issues, despite ScotRail confirming an additional train service following the match.
Broadcasters Viaplay Sports and BBC Scotland feared their coverage of the match would be criticised for poor ratings if the Hampden showdown clashed with the Manchester derby at Wembley this weekend. Police Scotland agreed to anction the later start.
The controversial issue sparked outrage and was even raised by politicians in Holyrood earlier this month, who requested a written explanation from Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell for further clarity on why the decision was made.
Ange Postecoglou’s side are eyeing a record-breaking eighth treble - their fifth in seven years - this weekend and fans left without tickets after the intial first sale are set to be handed a second opportunity to snap up briefs. The news will ensure the Hoops have more than 40,000 fans inside the ground.
Inverness are massive underdogs heading into the clash against the all-conquering Scottish champions. They must also overcome a four-week break from competitive action after ending the Championship season in fifth place having missed out on the play-offs.
Manager Billy Dodds told Sky Sports: “We gave them (the players) nine days off when we didn’t make the play-offs and then we’ve been training for the past three weeks, so we’ve had a couple of games and we’re ready to go. But I would’ve preferred us to still be in the play-offs and playing much more competitively.
“Celtic are the champions and people give us no chance. But we have played Livingston and Kilmarnock in this competition and beat them so, with the group of players we have, on our day we can be a threat. We’ll need to be rock-solid, on our A-game and fully focused for the 90 minutes, that’s been my thought process.”