A letter to Ian Maxwell at the SFA re Semi-Final !!!

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Joe O'Rourke
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A letter to Ian Maxwell at the SFA re Semi-Final !!!

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:23 pm

I wrote to Ian Maxwell again this morning with regards to the latest debacle in terms of the Semi-Final dates, and the screening of the two matches. Once again treated like second class citizens.
Not expecting any sensible solution from this lot.

Dear Mr Maxwell,
I don’t think for one minute Celtic Football Club could be looked upon or described as an “Establishment Club” in Scotland, quite frankly it’s probably the complete opposite of that. But I think the way in which the Club and our Supporters are treated by the SFA is appalling.
I have been at every Semi-Final and Final Celtic have played at Hampden for the last sixty years. In those sixty years we have always been treated like second class citizens by the SFA/SPFL, and by Queens Park FC, who thankfully no longer have an input. I wonder if you could shed some light on how things are decided.
Why do Celtic always play in the second of the two semi-finals? Which almost always is on a Sunday. Not only does it make it more difficult to access transport, but the pitch will not be in the proper state for a game because of the match played the previous day, and especially when we are either approaching or into winter.
I know the question of home or away is historical, but because Celtic are always treated as the away team, no matter who the opposition are, there are very few links to public transport, the only railway station is at Mount Florida, the opposite end from the one Celtic Supporters occupy, so out of bounds to the Celtic Supporters who want to keep their health.
Celtic Supporters travelling by Supporters Club Coaches are parked sometimes as far away as the Gorbals, well over a mile away. The Coach Park behind the Park (traditional Celtic end) usually allows a number of coaches to use it, but nowhere near the amount who would want to use it, not ideal for more senior members of our Support.
This will be Celtic’s fifteenth appearance in a row at Hampden for a Semi or Final, I think you could come to the conclusion that Celtic contribute more to the SFA through that particular revenue stream than any other team in Scotland. I think you can also agree that Celtic have more season ticket holders than the other three semi-final teams combined.
I believe that the money accrued in both Semi-Finals is pooled and shared equally amongst the four competing teams. So what happens to the money contributed by the Celtic and Aberdeen fans through PPV? Is that share distributed only between both clubs? Or is there another way of doing it?
Bearing all that in mind Mr Maxwell. Could you explain the thinking behind making the Celtic/Aberdeen semi-final a Pay per View match, when the other match between Hibs and Hearts is on terrestrial television, and therefore free to watch? This decision calls into question the impartiality of the SFA, and that will not be the first time that has happened.
Are the SFA trying to make up for lost revenue through the lock-out of fans to the Scotland/Israel playoff match? Or is it just a case of treating Celtic and their massive support as “Cash Cows”? I think Mr Maxwell, you and your colleagues need to come out of hiding and explain your actions. This situation is an absolute scandal, you should be trying to find a way of redeeming the situation, possibly by allowing free access to the PPV for Celtic and Aberdeen season ticket holders.
Yours in Football,
Joe O’Rourke.
General Secretary,
Celtic Supporters Association.

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