North East MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles has today said Aberdeen fans have been given a "thoroughly raw deal" following the decision of the SPFL to host two semi-finals on the same day at Hampden, which involves Aberdeen kicking off before a train even arrives in Glasgow from the North East.
ScotRail has said the fixtures present "a significant logistical challenge". Meanwhile many fans have expressed concerns about the prospect of four sets of supporters totalling 100,000 people congregating in the same area on the same day.
Mr Rumbles commented:
"This should be a fantastic opportunity for families across the country to get to these showpieces of Scottish football. Instead it risks being complete chaos.
"Aberdeen fans are getting a thoroughly raw deal, with their game kicking off before a train can even get them to Glasgow. It shows complete disregard for those living outside the Central Belt.
"The scheduling will pose serious challenges to other fans too. There are serious questions about whether the trains will be able to cope with those travelling back to Edinburgh after the evening match, particularly given they are already likely to be packed following a sold-out event at the Hydro.
"This looks like a very poor piece of planning. It is a real shame that it appears to have caused many fans, and particularly families, to be turned off attending one of the highlights of the football calendar. For the sake of the fans, there needs to be a rethink."
Notes to editors:
- Aberdeen have said the treatment of their club is "really unfair" and that the scheduling is "completely unacceptable" (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45679298).
- Hearts have said the scheduling is "discouraging fans to come to the game" and will cause difficulties to all travelling supporters from all clubs concerned.
- ScotRail has today said the decision "presents a significant logistical challenge, which the organisers were well aware of before making the decision. We 'll assess all options to see what, if anything, is possible."