Dundee United owner left "shocked, frustrated" by police decision for Celtic Scottish Cup tie

By Euan Davidson

February 25, 2022

Dundee United owner Mark Ogren has blasted Police Scotland for the scheduling of Celtic’s visit to Tannadice in the Scottish Cup.

It’s already become a tie embroiled in controversy. Dundee United earlier issued a statement about a disagreement over ticket prices. The Scottish Cup Final’s timing, though, scheduled for Monday 14th March, has riled Ogren. The Tangerines’ American owner wanted the game played on a Saturday.

Ogren didn’t hold back about the Celtic clash. He said [Courier]: “I was shocked when we were talking about the potential nights when we were going to be able to schedule our Scottish Cup game that it came down to Sunday or Monday.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

“Well, what about Saturday? We were told by the Scottish FA that, no, the police have already taken that off the table. I’m actually shocked and frustrated with the fact that the police have the authority to decide that it’s not in anyone’s interests to have the game on the Saturday.

“God-forbid we look at helping out businesses, clubs, restaurants, pubs and hotels that have been decimated by Covid. It’s also a lot more fun for the fans to have Scottish Cup quarter final on a Saturday.

“For it to be denied even before we had the discussion on it, to me that’s not right and it would NEVER happen in the States. Quite frankly, I have to believe it would never happen in other places in the UK. To not even have that discussion – to have it vetoed before it even came to that – is what’s completely frustrating to us.”

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Dundee United owner fuming over Celtic cup scheduling

In fairness, Ogren has a point. That the idea of not having the game on a Saturday even being discussed is pretty strange. And he’s right, from a micro-economic point of view. Rather than having the whole day, business near Tannadice will have a small window to benefit from the custom of travelling Celtic supporters.

Having a Cup Quarter-Final on a Saturday just feels right. However, the schedule, the Scottish FA and Police Scotland have made themselves clear on this.

This game, of course, is already mired with narratives that’ll follow until the game’s actually played. Celtic allegedly wanting higher ticket prices for travelling fans isn’t going to go down well. The Hoops faithful will absolutely want answers.

Then you get into the allocation, the timing of the game, broadcasting via Premier Sports instead of the BBC… there are certainly issues.

How kindly the SFA and Police Scotland will take to Ogren’s views will be interesting to watch. In any case, though, it’s a high-pressure game, already with multiple talking points.

Read more: Kieran Tierney on the “out of body” experience he had at Celtic