St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has branded the decision to deny the Perth club extra tickets for Saturday’s Tynecastle League Cup semi-final with Hibs a “fiasco” and described the timing of the announcement as “outrageous”.
The Perth club were initially allocated the Roseburn Stand but were told Main Stand tickets would be available if there was sufficient demand.
However, they have now been told segregation issues mean they will not be given any further tickets.
And to rub salt into Saints’ wounds, the 600 left-over tickets for the Main Stand will now go to to Hibs.
Brown is unimpressed and expressed sympathy for the fans.
“The first thing I want to say is that I fully share in the frustration caused by the delay in the announcement not to allocate Main Stand tickets to Saints fans and I can understand the anger and disappointment of ticketless fans,” Brown said in a statement.
“I can assure supporters that from the outset these Main Stand tickets were intended for St Johnstone fans. However, with increased concerns about access, egress and segregation arrangements in that corner of the ground being raised by safety and security staff at Tynecastle and Police Scotland the SPFL took the decision that the final approval for the release of these tickets to St Johnstone would be delayed in order to gauge sales of Main Stand tickets by Hibernian FC and maximise the chances of an alternative segregation and operational arrangement within the Main Stand.
“Coming at a time when fan engagement has been recently stated as a key objective for the future of our game I find the timing of this decision – five days before the match – outrageous and I would state that this is totally unacceptable to St Johnstone Football Club. I would hope that lessons are learned from this fiasco in order to avoid any repeat of the uncertainty and disillusionment suffered by the people who matter most – the supporters.”