Aberdeen criticise SPFL after securing increased allocation for Betfred Cup semi against Rangers

Aberdeen fans (SNS Group)

ABERDEEN have secured more tickets for their fans for this month’s Betfred Cup semi-final, but have heaped more criticism on the SPFL over their handling of the fiasco-hit game.

The Dons were initially given 16,800 tickets for the clash at Hampden against Rangers, but have now negotiated a guaranteed number of 20,300 for supporters.

The club’s Commercial Director Rob Wicks said in a club statement: “Whilst we are pleased that we have now been able to secure a larger guaranteed allocation of 20,300 tickets for our supporters, the fact that it’s taken ten days since the semi-final draw leaves a lot to be desired.”

The match, which takes place on Sunday October 28 at 4:30pm, will see Aberdeen fans housed in the South and East Stands.

The game had initially been scheduled for a 12pm kick off on the same date, with Hearts and Celtic also playing their semi-final at Hampden on the same day.

But a massive row erupted over the timings, with Hearts and Aberdeen unhappy about the transport issues fans would face to get to the games.

The SPFL then backtracked on their plans for a ‘super Sunday’ at Hampden and moved the Hearts v Celtic game to Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium.

“Unnecessary delays surrounding the venue and kick off time of our match have impacted upon the time available to sell tickets,” Wicks added.

“Last Friday we were told we’d get the North Stand if we sold substantially all of our initial allocation of 16,800 tickets.

“In good faith we gave this information to our fans – only to find out yesterday that in order to get the North Stand we’d have to sell virtually all of our initial allocation of 16,800 tickets in a matter of just a few days, putting us in an impossible position.

“I’m sure we can all appreciate the SPFL’s desire to see a full stadium and maximise ticket income for these high-profile fixtures but moving forward allocations have to be done on a basis which puts supporters first and without the time constraints we have seen here.

“We at Aberdeen are calling for more transparency within the game in Scotland. Our fans deserve to know these facts. We must put fans first. We sincerely hope the SPFL will have learnt from this experience and that we don’t see a repeat.”

On Monday, Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne called for a summit between the SPFL and Scottish FA to address the fiasco surrounding the Betfred Cup semi-finals, as well as recent refereeing decisions.