Scotrail has criticised the Scottish Professional Football League over a lack of consultation surrounding the transport implications of a decision which will see up to 100,000 supporters travelling to and from Hampden for the Betfred Cup semi-finals on the same day.
Aberdeen are due to face Rangers at noon on Sunday 28 October, with Celtic facing Hearts at 7.45pm. The first train from Aberdeen to Glasgow on a Sunday does not usually arrive until 12.15pm.
The train company wrote on Twitter: “The SPFL is well aware from previous events of the logistical challenges an early kick-off presents, particularly for Sunday morning services from Aberdeen.
“Our events team wasn’t consulted by the SPFL in advance of its announcement, which is disappointing. The SPFL has only now been in touch after the announcement. We’ll assess all options to see what, if anything, is possible in relation to additional services. But the logistical challenges this presents shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Police Scotland decreed that the Aberdeen-Rangers game should be played first but Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has described the treatment of their fans as “really unfair”.
The Pittodrie club released a statement describing the decision as “appalling” and McInnes added: “I don’t think we are going to get a perfect scenario. The fact is our supporters are going to have to travel to Glasgow anyway, which is always the case when we get to semi-finals and finals, and we are well used to that.
“But I just feel find it really unfair and I reiterate the statement the club put out.
“For them to try and get there for an early kick-off just makes it all the more problematic. I’m sure that would have been taken into account in the decision-making process but it doesn’t seem to have been important enough.”