SPFL reject Hibernian request ahead of Celtic clash; Jack Ross not happy

By David Walton

November 23, 2021

Jack Ross has been left bitterly disappointed after the SPFL refused to ease Hibernian’s fixture schedule in the build-up to their Premier Sports Cup clash against Celtic.

The Easter Road club will play 7 games between now and the December 19th Hampden date. It’s the same number of matches Celtic have on their agenda too.

Ross appealed to the governing body after Sunday’s win over Rangers to help give them some special treatment [Premier Sports].

Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images

And today, he’s explained the result of those talks with the SPFL as the Easter Road club have been swiftly denied,

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ross said: “In terms of asking them for help we’ve done so already and that’s not forthcoming. So we’ll use it to galvanise us and keep us highly-motivated to make sure that this schedule that we’ve been presented, and Celtic have been presented as well, will be used in the most positive way.

“That’s the argument they put forward [that they couldn’t get help due to having previous games postponed]. I’m not dismissive of that because I understand there’s a need to get fixtures in. But if you look at the season as a whole there’s a lot of time to do so.

Celtic get no favours from the SPFL, as December schedule gets even tougher

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Celtic get no favours from the SPFL, as December schedule gets even tougher
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“I suppose for me it’s just that there’s strong governance when it suits, and not so strong governance when it comes to issues that may be more important than fixture scheduling. So that can be frustrating. But for us it’s been very much accepted and we now focus our energies on winning these games that we’re going to have to play in that short period.”

Hibernian rightly told where to go by SPFL; Celtic in the same boat

In fairness to Ross, he acknowledges that Celtic are in the same boat here. He understands that we have the same fixture schedule in the build-up. It’s fair to say there’s no help forthcoming when it comes to Celtic either.

But this is just the nature of a fixture schedule for a successful modern-day football club. You have to remember Hibs have already had several postponements already this term due to Covid issues.

It’s all well and good saying that there’s plenty of time elsewhere in the season. But the truth is that’s not taking into account games that may need to be postponed in 2022. We’ve still to have the bad weather come into the country remember. There will be plenty more call-offs in the new year.

Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images

Ross is simply putting his case forward and you can understand that. But the right decision has been made here. It wouldn’t have been right for the Easter Road club to have received special treatment.

It’s not as if either club will be drained come the final on December 19th. Everyone will be up for it and the nature of the occasion will have supporters and players brimming with energy.

Ross may want to have a pop at the SPFL here. However, the truth is they’ve come to the right and just outcome here.

In other news, Celtic supporter groups, media and clubs unite in open letter to Michael Nicholson