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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 19:01 GMT 20:01 UK
Celtic branded moaners

Rangers forward Ronald de Boer has branded Old Firm rivals Celtic moaners for protesting over fixture congestion.

And Dunfermline Athletic chairman John Yorkston fears that a delay to setting the date of the final Old Firm match will hit other clubs in the pocket.

The reigning champions have accused the Scottish Premier League of bias for insisting they play Rangers in a potentially crucial league clash three days after their Uefa Cup second leg tie against Boavista in Portugal.

But de Boer said fixture pile-ups were part and parcel of being a top European club and advised Celtic to accept their lot.

"The date is set and that's it," the Dutchman said. "If you look at Manchester United, they played Liverpool then Real Madrid, then Newcastle and Arsenal.

"They have another game before they play Madrid for the second time, but I don't see them complaining.

Like most clubs, we need a few weeks to sell hospitality
Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston

"You have to be happy that you are involved in those games and I would love to be in that position.

"It could be negative for Celtic, but it could be negative for us if they come through the semi-final and are feeling great."

The final five fixtures of the season were due to be announced on Monday, but the SPL will consider Celtic's appeal on Thursday.

Yorkston said: "Of course, it is hampering our preparations. We are due three home and two away games after the SPL split.

"We have to get the police involved and organise hospitality. Like most clubs, we need a few weeks to sell hospitality.

"If we are going to be given one week to sell that, it is not going to be great. It certainly isn't going to be a help.

"We know we are going to be at home to Hearts, Kilmarnock and Celtic, so our commercial department is poised for a big push on Thursday once we know what the fixtures will be.

"We have got a massive mail-shot ready, but we just need to know which teams we are playing."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston
"We voted based on advice from the police"


CELTIC

DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC

RANGERS

SEE ALSO
Celtic winning date row
15 Apr 03  |  Celtic
O'Neill blasts fixture decision
11 Apr 03  |  Scottish Premier
Some sympathy with Celtic
11 Apr 03  |  Celtic
Old Firm date angers Celtic
10 Apr 03  |  Scottish Premier
O'Neill says derby is key
06 Apr 03  |  Scottish Premier

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