Friday fright nights are coming to a stadium near you soon so be afraid, very afraid.

Friday fright nights are coming to a stadium near you soon so be afraid, very afraid.

That’s right folks you’ve been warned. Scottish Premier League football should probably already carry a health warning given its current predicament. Hardened punters in Scotland are probably now used to their weekly dose of Saturday afternoon punishment. But now to make weekends even harder to enjoy it looks as if games are going to be rescheduled for Friday nights.

The national team might still be doing just enough to help the nation preserve some sort of international pride. However, at club level it’s very different. You don’t have to look any further than the recent European debacle for evidence of that. Reigning champions Rangers, Hearts and Dundee United were all unceremoniously dumped out of Europe. And in perhaps an even more embarrassing episode Celtic were forced to rely on a last gasp reprieve after losing to Sion.

The Swiss club had qualified from the play-off stages after defeating Celtic 3-1 on aggregate but earlier this month were ruled to have used ineligible players. The Parkhead side will now line up in the Europa League against the likes of Athletico Madrid, Udinese and Rennes. It’s certainly a daunting prospect for Neil Lennon and his men. If they struggle to shine their performances could inflict yet more damage to the already fragile Scotland game. With standards slipping and attendances plummeting it really does look grim up north for the future of the game.

So just what are the league chiefs planning to do to help revive the beautiful game in Scotland?

Well one of their first decisions is to move some fixtures to Friday nights. Aberdeen’s clash with Dunfermline at Pittodrie at the end of the month will be used as the first pilot project. SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster insists the new initiative could yet help to draw in bigger crowds. Doncaster said:

“When setting the fixture for the pilot we had to get a balance between local derby fixtures, which would ordinarily be policed and therefore are more difficult on a Friday night, and games which are too far away.

“There aren’t many games that are local to Aberdeen but Dunfermline is a game where it’s not too great a distance, certainly relative to some other clubs.

“It’s a pilot and I think we have to wait and see what the reaction is.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback from supporters prior to doing this, that they would like to see games on Friday evenings so that’s us responding to demands.

“We have to try new ideas and see how it works out. If it works out well, then we can hopefully replicate it.

“Hopefully it will work and be a success.”

Good luck Mr Doncaster — you’re going to need it.


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