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Hibs owner blasts SPFL for scheduling of Hearts and Rangers games

Ron Gordon says the fixture plans will damage attendances.

Hibs owner blasts SPFL for ‘foolish’ scheduling of Hearts and Rangers games SNS Group

Hibs owner Ron Gordon has branded the SPFL’s fixture list as “poorly planned on multiple fronts”, claiming that making his side’s first home game an Edinburgh derby is “foolish” and “absurd”.

The Easter Road side begin their Premiership campaign away to St Johnstone but are then at home in the derby against Hearts and welcome Rangers to Leith in their second home game on August 20.

Gordon believes that having such high-profile games so early in the season will cost Hibs in terms of attendance and says he has told the SPFL that he believes they have made a mess of the fixture list.

“I’m not happy,” he told Hibs podcasts. “I think the league, putting the derby so early in the season… for a variety of reasons, number one, we’re doing construction, we’re going to get the west stand completed on the Wednesday or Thursday of the Sunday before Hearts.

“They knew that and they scheduled the biggest game of the season.

I mean, honestly, who schedules a derby as the opening day? You would never have Celtic- Rangers or Man City-Man United as your opening day.

“It makes zero business sense, it kills your season ticket, it’s just like ‘who does that?’. I’ve already had this conversation with the league, I just find it absurd.

“But, in any case, that is our reality because once it’s published, it’s published. It puts in a difficult position where we need to be ready to play those big matches. Not only do we have Hearts, we have Rangers after that at home. I think the scheduling is really, really poorly planned on multiple fronts.

“I was, like, shocked.

“I was really disappointed in the league, to be honest with you, because you would never do that. Opening day is, by default, a high attendance day. We get 2000-3500 who walk up because it’s opening day and it’s a beautiful and sunny day. “It’s a high attendance day and instead of having two in the derby and opening day you collapse them into one. You just kill 4000, 5000 attendance that you’re not going to get, it’s foolish. But that’s the reality.”

The Hibs boss, who admitted disappointment at the team’s League Cup failure and said that the fielding of a suspended player was “a boo boo” by the club’s operations department, also defended the side’s poor start under new manager Lee Johnson but said he was confident the team would improve once new signings had bedded in.

“Something fell through the cracks,” he said when asked about the League Cup error that led to a fine and a forfeited game. “It’s a bit of a shame.

“We are rectifying it. I look at the improvements we have made and that’s one area where we have upgraded.

“Our ops department is better but in this particular case they made a mistake. They feel terrible but if there is a consolation, it’s the fact it doesn’t effect anything.”It doesn’t change. It would have been really bad if we had won last night (against Morton) and been in a bad situation because of that (administrative error).

“I can assure you it is not going to happen again.”