SPFL fixture change angers Falkirk

St Mirren's Andy Webster and Rangers' Michael O'Halloran

St Mirren against Rangers will now be live on TV

Falkirk have called for the Scottish Professional Football League to reverse its decision to move all of the final Scottish Championship fixtures.

The SPFL announced on Monday that all five games would be moved back a day to Sunday, 1 May (12:30 BST).

That came after BT Sport elected to show Rangers’ trip to play St Mirren.

But Falkirk chairman Doug Henderson said: “Clubs will lose out considerably at the gates and through the loss of hospitality.”

The SPFL moved all the final-day fixtures from Saturday, 30 April to ensure no team have an advantage.

However, both Rangers and St Mirren could have nothing to play for that day, with the Glasgow side hoping to win the title at home to Dumbarton on Tuesday and the Paisley outfit 10 points clear of second-bottom Livingston in the relegation play-off spot.

Hibernian, who host Livingston on Tuesday, will join Falkirk and Raith Rovers in the promotion play-offs should runaway leaders Rangers clinch the title.

The Bairns announced they were “protesting the decision” to change the fixtures.


Falkirk chairman Doug Henderson says there is time to reverse the decision

“We understand why the SPFL wanted to change the dates so that all the final-day games took place at the same time,” said Henderson.

“The reality is that none of the teams competing for the play-offs would be disadvantaged by allowing their games to take place on the Saturday.

“This decision is inconsiderate of our fans, not only because of the switch to a less convenient day but also because end-of season supporters’ events have been planned for the Saturday.

“There’s still time to reverse their decision and respect the wishes of our fans.”

Falkirk host Greenock Morton on the final day and could still be in a race with Hibs for second spot, meaning later entry into the promotion play-offs, which start on 4 May.

The Bairns have approached Raith Rovers chief executive Eric Drysdale, who sits on the SPFL board, and asked him to press the governing body for a change.

League bosses were criticised last season after Rangers’ final game against Hearts was moved back 24 hours at 17 days’ notice while the other four matches remained on the Saturday.

Hibs, who eventually beat the Ibrox side to second spot, immediately complained that Rangers could gain an advantage while Hearts were angry over the disruption to supporters and consequences for “sporting integrity”.

The SPFL then moved all games to a Sunday kick-off despite strong opposition from Falkirk, who hosted Hibs on the last day.

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