Scottish Cup final: SFA defends ticket allocation after Celtic's criticism

Celtic and Aberdeen fans
Celtic and Aberdeen also met in the League Cup final at Hampden earlier this season

The Scottish FA has defended itself following criticism from Celtic over Scottish Cup final ticket allocations.

Celtic had said they were "very disappointed" over "potentially" being allocated 700 tickets fewer than Aberdeen for the match on 27 May.

But the SFA said one reason for this is because of the number of seats in the club's "preferred" East Stand.

The SFA added that ticket allocation had been handled in "full consultation" with both clubs.

The Premiership champions had issued a statement on their website saying they were unable to secure a 50-50 split at Hampden.

"Clearly we are very disappointed that our attempts to ensure an equitable allocation of tickets have been unsuccessful," Celtic said.

"We have tried everything to ensure that this could be achieved."

Celtic said they suggested a number of proposals to the SFA that would "maximise the ticket allocation for our fans" including "reviewing the segregation arrangements", a "reconfiguration of the upper south stand" and "the creation of a neutral area to best accommodate supporters through the 'football family'", but that these were not accepted.

In response, the SFA said: "The allocation of tickets has been handled in full consultation with both participating clubs and the available seating at Hampden Park will be split on a 50-50 basis, as has been standard practice in previous cup finals where a sell-out crowd is anticipated.

"It should also be noted that one of the reasons Celtic will potentially receive fewer tickets than Aberdeen is that the East Stand, Celtic's preferred stand for Scottish Cup matches at the national stadium, contains fewer seats than the West Stand.

"In addition, the "football family", made up of Scottish FA members, commercial partners, other recognised football organisations and staff, have the right to buy match tickets for the final.

"This has impacted on the number of tickets the clubs will receive to sell to their supporters with demand for tickets in the Celtic areas outweighing that of the Aberdeen areas."

'An equal spilt the least we expected'

Celtic, who won the League Cup by beating the Dons in November's final at Hampden, are trying to win their first domestic treble since 2001.

A club spokesperson added in their statement: "With Celtic supporters attending matches at Hampden in such huge numbers across this season, an equal split in allocations is the least that we would have expected for such a prestigious and important match.

"The initial split of tickets means we will receive slightly less tickets than we did for the recent semi-final tie [against Rangers]. As it is a cup final there are a number of contractual rights which the club is tied to and these have to be fulfilled which naturally impacts on wider availability.

"We understand the significance of the match and this has again intensified demand for tickets and it is clear that we simply will not have anywhere near enough to accommodate the demand we are currently experiencing."

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