Think of the fans

02 April 2011 01:35
A late postponment is never popular but if you are half-way to Inverness it will irritate a tad Chief executive Peter Lawwell has called for fans to be considered more after today's game at Inverness was postponed at short notice. Awaterlogged pitch at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium forced the  game to be called off less than two hours before the scheduled noon kick-off. It is the second time this season a Celtic game at Inverness has been called off - a 340-mile round trip from Glasgow - and Lawwell believes it is time to put fans first.  Lawwell said: "Inverness are a great community club and George Fraser (chairman), Graeme Bennett (director of football) and the rest of the board always make us and our supporters feel very welcome, so it is a difficult situation, but clearly there is something wrong with the drainage of the pitch here. I have great sympathy for our supporters who were already on their way here and we can only apologise to them. We value their support and they do need to be considered when it comes to setting kick-off times, otherwise they are going to end up saying 'Enough is enough' if they're being asked to travel to games such as Inverness with a midday kick-off time. The kick-off time is not ideal for our supporters, who were already on the road and halfway to Inverness when the game was called off. Our fans are the lifeblood of our club, and of Scottish football, and they need to be considered more when it comes to setting kick-off times. Television is obviously an important income generator in Scottish football, but the fans need to be considered more in order that we can achieve a balance. We've already got a 6pm kick-off for our game against St Johnstone and that could be the case again for this fixture when it is rescheduled."  The Scottish Cup quarter-final between the sides was also postponed last month and Lawwell went on: "This is the fourth time we've been up here and the second postponement we've had, and there is now the real prospect of fixture congestion in having to re-arrange this game again. Clearly something is wrong with the drainage of the pitch when the rain doesn't start till the early hours of the morning and then, with eight hours of rain, the game is called off. I know it's something the groundstaff at Inverness are already looking at. This is the beginning of April and we're still getting games called off, and in top-flight Scottish football some overnight rain shouldn't cause a match to be called off."


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