Aberdeen criticise SPFL over cup semi venue

Aberdeen's Adam Rooney and Joe Lewis congratulate each other at full-time following the 1-0 quarter-final win against St Johnstone. Picture: SNS

Aberdeen's Adam Rooney and Joe Lewis congratulate each other at full-time following the 1-0 quarter-final win against St Johnstone. Picture: SNS

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Aberdeen have hit out at the SPFL over its scheduling of the Dons’ Betfred Cup semi-final against Morton.

Derek McInnes’ side made it through to the last four of the tournament on Thursday night when they defeated St Johnstone 1-0 thanks to a late Adam Rooney headed goal. The semi-final draw later paired Aberdeen with Championship side Morton, while it also threw up another Old Firm clash.

On Friday, the SPFL announced that the Aberdeen-Morton tie will be played at Hampden Park on Saturday 22 October, with a 12.15pm kick-off, while the Rangers-Celtic clash will take place at 2.15pm the following day and will also be played at the national stadium. Both games will be broadcast live by BT Sport.

But Aberdeen have released a statement criticising both the choice of venue and time for their fixture. “Our stated preference was that the game took place at a more reasonable time on the Saturday at a venue that would ensure a capacity attendance,” said the statement. “It is from an attendance perspective very regrettable that the game kicks off at 12.15pm which is a major disadvantage to our fantastic travelling support in particular for games such as these.

“Regarding the choice of venue, we understand and accept that it is for all clubs to indicate the crowd they anticipate taking and Hampden Park was chosen on this basis. We accept that the majority of our supporters would have had to travel for at least a couple of hours to attend this fixture at any suitable venue but are disappointed as we feel that this outcome has a very negative impact on what should be a great day out and experience for all supporters.”

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