Are Rangers right to request fixture rejig? And the potential reason why Celtic clash not first post split game

The last time Rangers reached a European final the build-up was dominated by a bitter row over fixtures.

And as the Ibrox side stand 180 minutes away from repeating their 2008 feat there is another scheduling storm brewing.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst revealed the club are in talks with the SPFL about the possibility of switching their final league Old Firm derby of the season.

Rangers are due to travel to Parkhead on May 1 which is sandwiched between both legs of their Europa League semi-final against RB Leipzig.

The post-split fixtures were released on Monday and Gers appear to be unhappy that the derby clash was arranged for game number two when it was known they would potentially be in European last four tie.

It could also be a title decider depending on results in the first game after the split with the Light Blues traveling to Motherwell and Ange Postecoglou taking his men to Ross County.

And in the latest edition of the Record Rangers podcast, our team debated the move by the SPFL and asked why it wasn’t scheduled for the weekend of April 23/24 -the first game after the split.

One suggestion is that the UCI Track Nations Cup takes place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome just a goal kick from Parkhead.

Gavin Berry, Andy Newport and Scott McDermott sat down to discuss the big talking point on the eve of Van Bronckhorst revealing Rangers had made their request.

Andy: “Who can work out the SPFL? We have been perplexed by so many decisions they have made down the years.

“There’s a major cycling event at the Emirates Arena across the road from Celtic Park on the same day (as the first game after the split).

“It’s been suggested that could be one of the factors and police officers could already have been committed to that.

“But I definitely think if Rangers make reasonable requests – and there are other factors such as policing – but if it’s feasible then the SPFL should bend over backwards.

“Not because it’s helping Rangers but because it’s better for Scottish football.”

Scott added: “We’ve had this argument before. I don’t think the authorities have been keen to help clubs.

“You see it a lot in other countries. It’s happened many times – Scottish clubs facing European teams and the opposition get a week off and the associations try and help as much as they can.”

You can hear what they had to say on the matter by CLICKING HERE (25 minute mark of the podcast).

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden, Van Bronckhorst called for more help.

He said: “We want to do the best for Scotland, hopefully, the league is also able to support us.

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“The league would have to agree to move any fixtures. We will do everything we can to do so but we don’t have the final call.”

Captain James Tavernier added: “It’s important (to get that help). We can request all we want for the games to be moved but it comes down to the league and how they want to do things.

“You see us in the semi-final and it’s a massive achievement. You’d like to think we can get a little bit of help in terms of moving fixtures.

“But it’s out of our hands. You see it in other leagues and other countries. They help their teams but we just have to wait and see what happens.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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