Not As Neat As It Should Be

07 August 2011 09:41
Aberdeen play Celtic today after the latter took time out for the challenge games. Craig Brown is not a fan of the staggered start to the SPL season with challenge games being played after the league programme has started. The SPL season started earlier than usual this year but clubs were allowed to postpone a game in the first three rounds of fixtures to play money-spinning friendlies. While the Dons were losing 1-0 at St Mirren last week, today's visitors to Pittodrie were in Dublin for a glamour tournament. The SPL fixture list was disrupted again this weekend with  more friendly games including the visit of Chelsea to Ibrox and Sunderland to Easter Road as other SPL clubs took advantage of the "compromise'' rule. Asked if that has devalued the league, Brown said: "I think so. I don't understand that arrangement. We were tempted to take a friendly (this weekend) but I think the friendlies, in addition to European commitments, distort the start of the season a bit. I think it is a bit untidy looking. Financially, of course, it is lucrative and if the Old Firm can get the lucrative friendlies it widens the financial gap between the rest of us and them. But they are absolutely correct to take advantage if the SPL authorise it. It is just a bit untidy.'' Celtic earned a nap hand over the Dons last season and there is just one point on the board next to Aberdeen's names from their first two SPL games. However, Brown is upbeat ahead of the game with Celtic and urged the Dons fans to come out in force to cheer their side on. he said: "I am always optimistic no matter who we play and what the circumstances. I was disappointed last week but we will play better, I am sure of that. There is no need for Aberdeen fans to be pessimistic. Come and support us and hopefully we will get the result their support deserves. Every club is looking for the first win of the season. It gets you up and running and we would like to get that as quickly as possible. It would be a major boost if we could get that. And if we do our best it will be a very difficult game for Celtic.''