Hearts and Aberdeen join forces to lobby SPFL on Betfred semis

Hearts owner Ann Budge and Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne are joining forces. Picture: SNS
Hearts owner Ann Budge and Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne are joining forces. Picture: SNS
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Hearts and Aberdeen have joined forces in a bid to persuade Betfred Cup organisers to stage their semi-finals at BT Murrayfield and Hampden Park respectively.

Ann Budge, owner of the Tynecastle club, has been in contact with the Pittodrie chief executive Duncan Fraser and chairman Stewart Milne to press for a better scenario for their clubs and supporters.

They want a rescheduling which would see Hearts v Celtic held in Edinburgh on Sunday, 28 October, with Aberdeen v Rangers taking place in mid-afternoon in Glasgow on the same day.

Hearts’ preference is to play their tie at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby, while Aberdeen are happy to travel to Hampden if their current noon kick-off time changes. Budge, Fraser, Milne and the Hearts manager Craig Levein were all outraged at the Scottish Professional Football League scheduling both semis on the same day at Hampden.

League officials have since had a rethink under pressure from Police Scotland but it is not yet certain if one tie can move to Murrayfield - or indeed which one it would be.

The Scottish Rugby Union has concerns about hosting the Hearts-Celtic match there at short notice. Additionally, Celtic have written to the SPFL to demand that venues be decided by a draw if Murrayfield becomes an option.

There is plenty negotiating still to be done but Hearts and Aberdeen will continue their united stance in the hope of reaching what they feel is a sensible solution to the semi-final fiasco.