Premiership: Kilmarnock echo Hearts frustration over post-split fixtures

Kilmarnock face a third away trip to Ibrox
Kilmarnock face a third trip to Ibrox in the Premiership this season

Kilmarnock have echoed Hearts' frustrations over the Premiership's post-split fixtures.

Both clubs will make a third visit to Rangers before the end of the season because of an imbalance in the system.

Kilmarnock said they shared their fans' frustration while thanking them for their magnificent support.

Hearts said ending up with 18 home and 20 away games was "a consequence of the inherently imbalanced system that the SPFL clubs have elected to operate".

The Scottish top flight has split in two after 33 rounds of fixtures since season 2000-01.

If Kilmarnock make it six league wins in a row at Hamilton on Saturday, Steve Clarke's in-form side will go into the split four points behind Hibs.

In a statement, the Ayrshire club expressed its disappointment over the post-split fixtures.

'Causes an imbalance'

"As has already been alluded to there is always the possibility of an imbalance of home and away fixtures," it said.

"This year we see a relative balance being struck with the reallocation of additional home matches to another team in the league, which ultimately results in Kilmarnock FC facing three trips to Ibrox with Rangers having made only one trip to Rugby Park.

"While we share the frustration of our supporters at this outcome, we hope you will continue to provide the magnificent backing you have shown to our team over the course of the season.

"While an additional visit by Rangers would naturally provide a boost in terms of income, the passion, ambition and focus of everyone at the club remains on continuing to grow our home crowds."

Hearts in action against Rangers at Ibrox
Hearts expressed disappointment over an "imbalanced system"

Hearts also registered their disappointment over the nature of the post-split fixtures.

"In an ideal world, each team would complete 19 home and 19 away league fixtures per season," the club said. "Due to the structure of the league, however, this is not always possible.

"Depending upon which teams are in the top and bottom sections of the split, the situation can arise which causes an imbalance. While unacceptable, it is felt to be the "least unacceptable" option.

"Whilst the club is disappointed about this situation, it is a consequence of the inherently imbalanced system that the SPFL clubs have elected to operate."

The Scottish Professional Football League "thanked supporters for their patience" when it released its post-split fixture schedule on Wednesday.

It added: "Working with the 12 clubs, Police Scotland and our broadcast partners to produce a set of fixtures that meets everyone's requirements can often be a complex and time-consuming process, but fans can now look forward to an exciting conclusion to the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign."

Scottish Premiership post-split fixtures

Saturday 21 April

Hibernian v Celtic

Kilmarnock v Aberdeen

Dundee v St Johnstone

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Accies

Ross County v Motherwell

Sunday 22 April

Rangers v Hearts

Friday 27 April

Aberdeen v Hearts

Saturday 28 April

Hibernian v Kilmarnock

Hamilton Accies v Ross County

Motherwell v Dundee

St Johnstone v Partick Thistle

Sunday 29 April

Celtic v Rangers

Friday 4 May

Partick Thistle v Ross County

Saturday 5 May

Aberdeen v Hibernian

Rangers v Kilmarnock

Dundee v Hamilton Accies

Motherwell v St Johnstone

Sunday 6 May

Hearts v Celtic

Tuesday 8 May

Aberdeen v Rangers

Hamilton Accies v St Johnstone

Partick Thistle v Motherwell

Ross County v Dundee

Wednesday 9 May

Celtic v Kilmarnock

Hearts v Hibernian

Saturday 12 May

Dundee v Partick Thistle

Motherwell v Hamilton Accies

St Johnstone v Ross County

Sunday 13 May

Celtic v Aberdeen

Hibernian v Rangers

Kilmarnock v Hearts

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