International football

Scotland boss Burley demands SPL rethink

February 8, 2009

Scotland manager George Burley has hit out at the Scottish Premier League for starting the new league campaign just four days before a World Cup qualifier against Norway.

Burley say he was "angry and surprised" when he learned of plans to kick off the new season on August 8 - with the crucial clash in Oslo taking place on August 12.

And he has now urged SPL chiefs to rethink their dates in a bid to give the Scots every possible chance of booking their place at the World Cup finals.

Burley told the Sunday Mail: "I'm not happy with the decision to play league games on the weekend before our qualifier against Norway.

"I'm angry and surprised. It's not right. We need to have the right preparation to give us the best chance of getting a result. For the good of the country we need the dates changed.

"I'm not talking about close to two weeks of preparation. I'd be happy to get the squad together on Thursday August 6 to give us six days together.

"The World Cup only happens every four years and we need to be together on this.

"All we want is a helping hand from the SPL. Let's not disadvantage the national team.

"I'm not asking for much - just a fair crack of the whip.

"I did speak to them about this before the SPL dates were announced but they haven't taken the national team into consideration.

"It would be possible for them to start the league season on August 1.

"But because of TV commitments there might even be an SPL game on August 9 - just three days before."