Celtic ‘hugely disappointed' as Scottish Cup final moved to 5.30pm kick-off

The Scottish Cup final kick-off time has been moved (Steve Welsh/PA)
PA Sport Staff

Celtic have expressed “huge disappointment” that their Scottish Cup final clash with Inverness has been scheduled for an early evening kick-off, in a major break with tradition.

Celtic criticised a lack of consultation after the Scottish Football Association announced that its showpiece game would kick off at 5.30pm on June 3, moving from its long-held 3pm slot.

Reports emerged earlier in the week that the normal time could be moved – possibly to a lunchtime kick-off – to avoid a clash with the Manchester derby FA Cup final, which starts at 3pm and will be broadcast live on both BBC and STV.

Celtic said in a statement: “We are hugely disappointed that the Scottish Cup final has been moved from its traditional 3pm slot, something we don’t believe was necessary, or in the best interests of both sets of supporters.

“Additionally, there was no meaningful consultation with Celtic on this matter, in terms of assessing the many issues affecting supporters attending the match – something which is also extremely regrettable.”

Some Inverness supporters were quick to point out some of the difficulties the change produces, notably that the last train from Glasgow to the Highland city on that day leaves at 7.37pm, giving supporters no chance of travelling home by rail on the day.

Caley Thistle added that they were “obviously very disappointed” with the decision.

The cinch Championship club said in a statement: “We believe the showpiece Scottish occasion should have remained at 3pm.

Inverness  winger Daniel Mackay
Inverness winger Daniel Mackay celebrates his semi-final goal (PA)

“We made this known to the SFA last Thursday and we reiterated our view in writing on Sunday following our semi-final win at the weekend.

“It is certainly not in the interest of both sets of fans and as we know, our own supporters will be greatly inconvenienced by the travel challenges they now face.

“Unfortunately we could not effect the final decision to move the match. We were awaiting the match details and now hope to make ticket information known in the next 24 hours.”

After confirming the kick-off time, the Scottish Football Association added: “We would like to thank all parties for their support in ensuring a slot commensurate with Scottish football’s showpiece occasion. The match will be broadcast live on BBC One Scotland and on Viaplay.”