Hibs boss Jack Ross unimpressed by 'weak' SPFL date switch reasons and league's COVID call

The explanation for Hibs’ trip to Celtic Park being moved to a Monday night has left Easter Road manager Jack Ross unimpressed with the Scottish Professional Football League decision-makers.

Hibs head coach Jack Ross during Hibs training on December 4. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hibs head coach Jack Ross during Hibs training on December 4. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Ross has been left frustrated and disappointed in the league’s decision to accept Celtic's fixture request, and also at the punishment of St Mirren and Kilmarnock for Covid-19 breaches.The Easter Road boss was “surprised” to discover his side's trip to Parkhead had been moved from a Saturday afternoon to January 11, a Monday night, after Hibs had rejected Celtic's request, which was made to enable them to go on a warm-weather training camp.Iain Blair, SPFL director of operations, claimed he have Hibs one hour notice of his decision and was following league policy by favouring the home club – but Ross has said the reasoning behind the decision is “weak”.He said: "Celtic were well within their rights to request a fixture change. The SPFL's reasoning and explanation is weak but I disagree with that. There's nothing we can do but I don't think it was handled properly.“When it comes around it'll be fine. The game we play afterwards will be OK.“People mistake any complaint over that game being moved to believe it weakens you for any future match. It's more to do with the way it came around and how easy it was for the SPFL to make that decision.“I don't think that's been the case in the past. I don't think it's ever been as easy to request a fixture change and for the SPFL to be so accommodating."Ross was just as disappointed with the decision of the SPFL’s tribunal to consign St Mirren to 3-0 defeats against Motherwell and Hamilton and Kilmarnock to the same punishment for their postponed game against the Steelmen.“I don't agree the punishment is befitting of the breaches," Ross said.“The SPFL have deemed it a fit punishment. We all have to adhere to that but I think it's a disappointing day for Scottish football when we get to that point. I'm sure it will happen again as the season goes on.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.