SPFL to meet with Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts and Rangers over semi final dilemma

The Scottish Professional Football League are expected to meet with the four Betfred Cup semi-finalists on Thursday to thrash out a solution to their scheduling problem.

Hampden chiefs face a major dilemma over when to play the last-four clashes after Celtic and Rangers were kept apart in Wednesday night’s draw.

Celtic were paired with Hearts while Rangers will take on Aberdeen in ties due to be played over the weekend of October 27-28.

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Both semi-finals normally take place at Hampden, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday, but both Glasgow clubs are in Europa League action on the Thursday night - leaving one of them with the prospect of being forced back into action just 40 hours after competing in Europe.

One of the semi finals could be played at BT Murrayfield. Picture: SNS Group

Celtic face RB Leipzig in Germany while Rangers will host Spartak Moscow and Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard insists it would be “unfair” to ask either of Glasgow’s big two to play again after just one day’s rest.

SPFL bosses are now set to meet representatives from all four clubs to work out a solution, with playing both ties on the Sunday looking the most likely option.

Finding a venue will then be the next matter to be addressed. Murrayfield has been suggested as possible alternative but so far neither the SPFL nor the Scottish Rugby Union has commented on whether the 67,000-seater arena is an option.

Gerrard is keen for a workaround to be figured out after questioning the validity of the current plans to ask one half of the Old Firm to play on Thursday and then on Saturday.

Speaking after his side’s 4-0 triumph over quarter-final opponents Ayr, he said: “Listen, whoever has to do that, it’s not fair on any team, having played on the Thursday night.

“I’ll be interested to see how they decide. All the best with that one.

“We’ll deal with that when we have to. I’m not sure how they will select who plays when or what the rules are.

“Whoever has to do it, it won’t be fair as 48 hours is not enough.”