FOLLOWING the recent League Cup venue and ticket allocation debacle, it occurs to me that in the interests of neutrality it’s time the SPFL, and the SFA for that matter, introduce a rigid application of the following principle.

For all teams playing in Cup competitions who reach the stage where the games are required to be played at the neutral venue of Hampden, all tickets will be allocated on a 50/50 split and any tickets not sold will be returned in reasonable time for resale to the opponents only in the interests of not having too many empty seats at the venue.

It should be clear by now that Scottish football supporters who are reasonable and sporting-minded individuals no longer accept that there should be any entitlement in Scottish football based on a club’s size.

Regarding our neutral venue for cup finals, our national stadium Hampden. When it is openly accepted by the SPFL and SFA that the stadium is split into the “Rangers end”and the “Celtic end” and it is common practice that any opponents of either Rangers or Celtic when playing at Hampden are just assigned the opposite end without the use of a tossed coin, then it should be clear to anyone that this set-up damages the neutrality of the venue, turning it into a “home” venue for either Celtic or Rangers.

Further, it fosters a sense of entitlement amongst these two clubs that they have more rights than the rest of the league teams because of their size.

As I pointed out above, this is totally unacceptable to today’s Scottish football fans who are reasonable, sporting-minded individuals.

It’s time both the SPFL and the SFA got their house in order or face becoming the next high-profile ethical embarrassment to our beautiful game.

Stephen McKerron

WHAT a refreshing change to read about Charlie Mulgrew (Mulgrew will play for Scotland until his body tells him to stop, October 10).

Too many times we read of players “retiring” from international football with perhaps 50 caps (at best). In many cases that figure is far lower. Players pull out of squads at the drop of a hat citing injury, club commitments or fitness levels. You name it, the bumper book of excuses is well thumbed. Another “excuse” that rears its head is the club versus country clash.

A cursory glance around world football shows the following:

Christiano Ronaldo – 154 caps

Lionel Messi –128 caps

Diego Godin – 123 caps

Edinson Cavani – 105 caps

Luis Suarez – 104 caps

Robert Lewandowski – 99 caps

Angel Di Maria – 97 caps

and even Neymar Jr – aged only 26 – with 92 caps for Brazil.

Bodies pushed by Champions League and Europa League commitments, taxed by playing in the world’s toughest leagues and any one individual more valuable in cash terms to their clubs than the entire Scotland squad combined and many times over.

Yet they have amassed enormous numbers of caps and all continue to do so, most now well into their thirties.

Whilst reaching the final stages of major tournaments is enticing certainly, they also display a pride in their country that sees them all undertake frequent inter-continental journeys to represent their nations.

Why are average Scotland players not champing at the bit to represent their country at a level that places them beyond that of the the English Championship etc where they mostly reside?

Solve that riddle and our country’s fortunes may at last begin to turn around.

Kevin Cordell
Broughty Ferry, Dundee