Motherwell and Partick Thistle demand Scottish Premiership fixture rethink

Partick Thistle against Celtic
Partick Thistle will host Celtic on 10 December

Motherwell and Partick Thistle have expressed their anger at new Scottish Premiership fixtures and are demanding an amended schedule.

Thistle say that, if not, the two clubs and Hamilton would be due compensation for having fewer guaranteed games with Celtic and Rangers next season.

"That means an expected loss in revenues for the club of £120,000," Thistle suggested in a statement.

The Scottish Professional Football League has yet to comment.

Since the top flight was expanded to 12 clubs in 2013, the league has split into two sections of six teams for the final five fixtures.

"In previous seasons, where both Rangers and Celtic were in the Premiership, pre-split fixtures have been organised to ensure that every club plays three home games against the Old Firm," said Thistle.

"Without any notification from the SPFL to the contrary, we had expected that this practice would continue this season and that is the basis on which we and other clubs have budgeted.

"Having had no communication from the SPFL explaining these changes prior to this morning's announcement, Partick Thistle intends to seek compensation from the SPFL for all clubs concerned, or that they reconsider the fixture list to ensure a level playing field for all."

Thistle point out that Dundee, Hearts and Inverness Caledonian Thistle will have four home games each against the Old Firm before the split.

Rangers celebrate winning the Championship title
Rangers are in the top flight after winning the Championship

Expressing "anger and frustration", the Glasgow club say this will hand each of those clubs "an unexpected bonus" of around £120,000 each for the coming season.

Thistle, who had been looking forward to extra city derbies following Rangers' return to the top flight after a gap of four years, argue that this will also hamper them, Accies and Well in their quest for league points.

"Financial implications aside, we believe there is a significant sporting disadvantage created by the fixture list as it stands," they state.

"Pre-split, we will make four trips away to the two biggest clubs in the country while some clubs will only make two."

Thistle's statement was followed by Motherwell's board expressing its "extreme anger", saying it was a situation that had never occurred under the former Scottish Premier League or the present SPFL.

"This has a serious financial impact on our club and we cannot and will not accept it," they said.

"It creates a significant financial advantage for some clubs over others and, in our view, just as important, compromises the integrity of the competition, both in terms of the potential/need for adjusting respective player budgets up or down and the amount of games teams have to play at what has historically been the most challenging venues.

"We expect this unacceptable position to be reversed immediately."

Motherwell also complain that having two midweek matches in the Highlands away to Caley Thistle, three days after Christmas, and Ross County was also unfair on their fans.

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