ADVOCAAT Blast At Fixture Pile-Up

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DICK ADVOCAAT last night launched an astonishing attack on Scotland's football bosses for jeopardising Rangers' bid to beat him to the UEFA Cup.

The former Ibrox boss was speaking after sealing a place for Zenit St Petersburg at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 14. Advocaat admits a clash with his former club is his idea of a dream final - but believes counterpart Walter Smith has been badly hamstrung by a nightmarish domestic fixture schedule.

The Dutchman blames self-interest and parochialism for the SPL fixture pile-up that will force Smith's side to play four games in 10 days after their trip to Manchester and three games in a week in the build-up to the club's first Euro final in 36 years.

Russia's top-flight bosses have already postponed Zenit's gruelling nine-hour trip to face Luc Energi in Vladivostok the weekend before the Final.

And Advocaat has also asked for Wednesday's scheduled league clash with Lokomotiv Moscow to be shelved. If that happens he will have almost two free weeks to prepare his side for their first crack at a European crown and as part of that he will be at Ibrox on Wednesday night to watch Rangers in SPL action against Motherwell.

Advocaat said: "It is incredible what the Scottish authorities are trying to do to Rangers. I know all about Walter's situation because I read the Daily Record website.

"I read what Walter had to say about it last week and thought he was 100 per cent correct. Any other country in the world would do its best to help one of their clubs playing in a European final.

"But I know from my time in Scotland how things work there.

Everyone is only worried about their own interests and they do not look at the big picture.

"The Russian League are doing all they can to help us. It would be much fairer for Walter if he was allowed the same kind of freedom.

"It's unbelievable that a club can go to a European final in circumstances like this. Walter and Rangers are not just playing for themselves, they are playing for all of Scottish football.

"But everyone in Scotland is only concerned with their own interests when they should be thinking about what is best for the country. Walter has worked a miracle to take Rangers this far and should be given support."

Meanwhile, Rangers chief executive Martin Bain has again expressed his disappointment the SPL have not followed the lead of the Russians by giving his club a week to prepare for the final.

Bain said: "I think the fact the Russian Federation has recognised Zenit need a clear week to prepare for such a big final illustrates exactly Rangers' position on this.

"The SPL should take a long, hard look at what other federations do, given the enormity of the situation and what reaching a European final has done for the co-efficient and the country.

"I expressed last week my complete disappointment at the fixture scheduling and now we are actually in the final that disappointment has been exacerbated."
 

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The Dutchman blames self-interest and parochialism for the SPL fixture pile-up

Scottish football bosses parochial and self-interested! Never! : shocked2
 
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