Celtic vs Rangers this weekend is going to be a blockbuster regardless of what day it’s being played on.
Indeed, yesterday we got official confirmation that the Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Ibrox would be played on Sunday. This was changed from its original Saturday slot at 4pm due to a clash with the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.
However, some supporters have been questioning why other fixtures are taking place on the Saturday. Kilmarnock will host Montrose at 11:45am before St Johnstone vs Clyde and Aberdeen vs Livingston both kick-off at 5:30pm.
Aberdeen vs Livi is a particular interesting one. That match was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday. Therefore, that tie has swapped days with Celtic’s trip to Ibrox as opposed to ourselves simply taking the evening slot.
For those wondering why that may be the case? The Daily Record reported on Monday morning that Police Scotland simply weren’t keen on the derby being played later on Saturday. There was no explanation given, but it was likely in fear of some form of crowd trouble.
Celtic vs Rangers at 4pm or 5:30pm – is there really much of a difference?
This is something that will frustrate supporters. There was undoubtedly a more exciting feeling surrounding this one given it was going to be a Saturday afternoon kick-off. With many supporters having the next day off of work with it being a Sunday, it would’ve been a lot more enjoyable for many.
But you have to question whether there’s really any difference in a 4pm kick-off compared to a 5:30pm kick-off. It’s 90 minutes of a difference. Fans don’t decide to just become disorderly after 5pm. It’s a rather frustrating lack of trust the police have in the supporters.
You also have to take into consideration that the previous Glasgow derby came and went without much trouble. You would’ve thought that may have won supporters some credit.
It’s not as if fans can congregate in pubs or in other households to watch the game either. Yes, some will breach restrictions, but they’ll do that anyway and it’ll only be a vast minority. The rules are in place and they will largely be stuck to by those with common sense. You would’ve hoped that those making the decision would’ve taken this into consideration.
Instead, we once again have to make do with a Sunday kick-off at 3pm. Hopefully, irrespective of the time, we can turn up and produce the goods in Govan.