Ian Maxwell's cup final claim struggling as Celtic vs Inverness television schedule emerges

By Hamish Carton

May 25, 2023

The drama over the kick-off time for the Celtic vs Inverness Caledonian Thistle cup final is showing no signs of letting up.

On June 3, Ange Postecoglou‘s Hoops will take on the Highlanders for the Scottish Cup and a domestic treble.

The game would usually kick-off at 3pm, but it has instead been moved to a 5:30pm start.

Photo by Alex Todd/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

The change has been made with the Manchester derby FA Cup final, at 3pm, in mind.

It’s a move that hasn’t gone down well in general, with Celtic slamming the decision in a quick-fire statement.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell revealed the thought process behind the decision in a recent letter to the Scottish Government, shared by SPFL Mediawatch on Twitter.

In it, he explains: “Confirming a ‘traditional’ kick-off of 3pm would result in a scheduling conflict between the Scottish Cup final, FA Cup Final and UEFA Women’s Champions League Final.

“BBC Scotland, who will broadcast the final along with Viaplay, confirmed that they would not be able to permit a BBC One UK-wide broadcast, which would greatly diminish the visibility of Scottish football’s showpiece occasion.”

So BBC Scotland were unable to show the game UK-wide at 3pm. But a change to 5:30pm would make that possible?

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

As has been pointed out by a few on Twitter today, a look at the BBC schedule down south shows that, as expected, the game won’t be broadcast UK-wide on BBC One.

The schedule for BBC One London has ‘Garden Rescue’ on during the game, with other regions looking the same.

So what can we say about Maxwell’s BBC UK-wide claim? At the very least it seems to be struggling.

What was the real reason for the kick-off change? And who was pushing hardest for it?

One thing’s for sure – the match will kick-off at 5:30. The fall-out is likely to rumble on between now and then.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou has been speaking about Daizen Maeda after his red card last night