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SBD Global/April 9, 2013/International Football

Fans Fume As SPL Post-Split Schedule Stalls Over Agreements with Police, Broadcasters

The Scottish Premier League came under fire Monday after it "suddenly delayed" announcing the post-split fixtures "because Police and broadcasters were unable to come to an agreement over matches," according to Phil Gordon of the LONDON TIMES. The league was expected to make the announcement on the Monday after the division splits into two groups after 33 games as is tradition. However, "discussions with the Police and three broadcasters who have rights to screen SPL games -- ESPN, Sky and BBC Alba -- took longer than expected." The announcement is expected Tuesday, but the delay "has frustrated Celtic fans from Ireland who must now wait to book travel and accommodation." Celtic requires one point to clinch the SPL title, and it was assumed the club would be given a home game on April 20. The problem is that Rangers are already playing Peterhead at Ibrox on the same day and Glasgow’s senior Police officers "will adhere to their policy of Celtic and Rangers not playing in the city on the same day" to avoid trouble between rival fans. (LONDON TIMES, 4/9).

MAKEOVER TAKES A HIT: In London, Gordan wrote St. Mirren has delivered "a serious blow" to the reorganization of Scottish football by confirming it will vote "against league restructure next week." Club Chair Stewart Gilmour claims that clubs are being “rushed” into a deal. Now, attention shifts to Ross County, "another vocal opponent of the plan to implement change in by 2013-14" If Ross County votes no, "the attempt at reconstruction will fail" at the SPL summit next Monday. Roy MacGregor, Gilmour’s counterpart at Ross County, stated last month that he had huge misgivings about the plan (LONDON TIMES, 4/9).
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