Saints begin in Inverness

19 June 2013 07:36
Saints will start the new SPL campaign with a trip to Inverness - but as is always the way there are complaints about the new fixture list, which was released today.

First, the good bits. A trip to Inverness on the opening day - August 3 is fine. It gets one of the long journeys out the way early doors (with another coming a few weeks later when we go to Dingwall) and I hate playing the newly promoted side in the first game as they're more fired up than normal.

And, after years of moaning about our Christmas fixtures, we have a pretty decent festive period with home games against Hearts and Dundee United and trips to Motherwell. Sensible stuff.

But - and you knew there had to be a but - we don't have a game on the second Saturday of the season. We had been scheduled to play Celtic but the game has already been postponed so they can go gallivanting off to Dublin to play Liverpool and make some cash. Skipper Jim Goodwin and midfielder Kenny McLean have already aired their thoughts on the matter and it's fair to say they aren't impressed.

A few years ago the SPL introduced a rule so that clubs - and let's be honest, they were talking about the Old Firm - could cancel an early season fixture so they could play in a money-spinning friendly. It is a ludicrous rule. If these clubs want to play meaningless games then they should do it during the week or in pre-season, not at the weekend. If the other teams aren't available for friendlies at that point then tough.

The only positive is it's an away game we're having postponed, so we won't miss out on income from a midweek crowd. It seems that the SPL (or whatever it's being called next season) had already been informed of the cancellation and scheduled us with two away games to start with, knowing that one would be cancelled. A rare bit of common sense.

Meanwhile, Hearts have been docked 15 points for going into administration, increasing the chances we'll finish above them and avoid being involved in a relegation play-off. It's not a certainty though as the likes of Bournemouth and Dundee have survived despite suffering similar penalties in recent years.

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Source: Mirren MAD