The natural starting point was to choose match venues according to the number of times each pair of teams have met at each venue already this season, but this would have given two teams 20 home matches, one team 19 and three 18, so further changes had to be made. Two of them, involving Motherwell/Hibs and Rangers/Dundee United, were undoubtedly the best such moves, but the SPL then added an unnecessary third switch, for the game between Motherwell and Celtic. This hit Motherwell twice: they now have one fewer home match than other teams, which may be crucial in their bid for a Europa League place, and they have one fewer high-revenue match – home matches against Rangers and Celtic are of vital financial importance to all other clubs.
Without this third switch, Celtic would have been the team to suffer, but this would have been much less of a problem for them; they should manage to stay in second place comfortably anyway, and match revenues are far less important to them.
It appears that Motherwell are the victims not so much of bad luck as of politics – Celtic are clearly a lot more influential than they are within the SPL. Motherwell have a strong case for financial compensation.
PROFESSOR MIKE WRIGHT, Dept of Management Science, Lancaster University
Cup picture misrepresented dancing Celtic supporters
YOUR picture on pages 6 and 7 of The Scotsman sports section on 12 April shows Celtic fans doing a conga during the first-half of the Ross County match. It was no more than some exuberant fun during a dismal first-half (and not a show of protest]. The photo is clearly taken behind the goal that Celtic defended in the first-half and taken before any goals were scored.
Please do not make up stories that misrepresent the fans. These same fans were still there at the end singing You'll Never Walk Alone.
DEREK YULE, Inverurie