With the Scottish Cup final all ready to be played at Hampden Park between Celtic and Hearts later this month, the Scottish Football Association have made an important decision for the match.
It’s an odd time for a change of venue to be suggested but Inverness Thistle had made a late proposal to the Scottish Football Association to switch the upcoming Hampden Park final between Celtic and Hearts from Glasgow to Inverness instead.
The Scotsman carries the news of the bid where the thinking was that potentially it could mean some fans being allowed in for the match. Because Inverness is in a lower risk area and in Tier 1 in Scotland, simpler restrictions would apply.
Perhaps Inverness Thistle Chief Executive Scot Gardiner saw an opportunity to bring in some much needed funds. Or maybe he was making a suggestion purely for the good of football fans and letting them see live action.
Thistle have already taken advantage of the lower restriction with around 300 fans in their ground for their November match against Raith Rovers. They are planning a repeat for their home fixture this weekend against Dundee too.
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Inviting the SFA to shift their final between Celtic and Hearts may have been worth the ask. But it wouldn’t have been as simple as it might look. Some might think it’d mean increased travel costs for fans, but with no-one travelling as a fan to the Hampden final, anything is an increase. But then the travel restrictions across Scotland would mean in effect that only fans local to Inverness would be allowed to make their way to the ground anyway.
Some fans in the ground would add to the atmosphere, but at 300 or so for a final, it wouldn’t add up to much. But then again, something is better than nothing.
However worth a try it might have been, unsurprisingly the SFA have declined the offer. There is an ongoing commitment to use Hampden Park and at this late stage with no clear benefit, the ‘keep things as they are’ approach does make sense.