TV companies must be careful not to alienate fans - McInnes

Derek McInnes believes it’s time Aberdeen’s travelling support, and all the other fans who follow their teams across the country, got a better deal as they are the ones paying too high a price for televised football.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS GroupAberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS Group
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS Group

The Pittodrie club’s followers have recently turned up in significant numbers for a Friday- night game away to Ross County and a Sunday lunchtime one at Hamilton.

Now in the New Year they face the prospect of another trip to Dingwall for a 12:15pm kick-off on a Sunday and Monday night game at Inverness that will be followed with a visit to Glasgow to play Partick Thistle just four nights later.

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The Aberdeen manager has made it clear his players can cope with the demands of playing anytime, anywhere but what he wants is to see the TV companies show a bit more consideration for the fans when it comes to scheduling kick-off times.

“We just get told when to play and we accept television companies have that control,” said McInnes. “The people who it does affect and who should be considered more are the supporters.

“I think the supporters also accept that the television companies have a huge part to play and have to do what is right for them but we can’t cut off and annoy the supporters we need to be there to create the right atmosphere in the ground.

“We are putting the fans – who are the most important people – at risk at times when some of the fixtures are rescheduled.

“If we are going to have midweek games or rescheduling then it works better when there is a closer vicinity between the clubs. It then gives everyone the chance to get to the game. I don’t think we are maximising our supporters.

“Inverness isn’t exactly round the corner and a lot of our fans can’t get there on a Monday night or to Glasgow on a Friday night either.

“That is the disappointing aspect and that is why the fans should be considered more. We do have sympathy for our supporters. We had a game against Partick Thistle at Pittodrie on a Friday night which wasn’t exactly ideal for them either.

“I am not against Friday night games but I think the best case scenario would be two teams who are in a closer proximity to each other.”

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Of course with the closure of the Forth Road Bridge Hearts fans face an even earlier departure than normal for tomorrow’s early kick-off at Pittodrie.

The Dons can move within a point of Celtic and seven clear of third-placed Hearts if they win.