Rangers’ clash with Motherwell brought forward to aid Europa League preparations

Rangers have succeeded in getting their trip to Motherwell brought forward to give them more time to prepare for the Europa League semi-finals.

The Fir Park fixture has been switched to Saturday to give Rangers an additional 24 hours’ recovery time ahead of the first leg of their semi-final against RB Leipzig in Germany on April 28.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Professional Football League said: “We received a request from Rangers to bring forward their game away to Motherwell, which was scheduled for Sunday April 24, to the previous day, giving Rangers more time to prepare for their Europa League semi-final against RB Leipzig.

“We are very pleased to be able to accommodate this request and the Motherwell v Rangers game will now be rescheduled to Saturday April 23, with a 12 noon kick-off.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst

“We would like to record our sincere appreciation to Motherwell FC, Sky Sports and Police Scotland for accommodating this change, and wish Rangers the very best of luck in their European campaign.”

The game had initially been scheduled for Sunday after being chosen for live coverage by Sky Sports, who will continue with plans to screen the game. Final approval came from the police.

Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows explained his club’s reasoning for agreeing to the request.

“Based on significant feedback over the years, we believe most of our fans would rather watch a match on a Saturday rather than a Sunday, and with our only other home fixture after the split being a Wednesday night, that was at the forefront of our thinking,” he said in a statement.

“In addition, the club believe it sensible to support all Scottish clubs playing in European matches.

“That being said, we would like to sincerely apologise for the length of time taken to make this call and the subsequent lack of notice of the change, which has been largely outwith our control.

“We were initially approached on Good Friday, but we were only given confirmation of the change at 3:10pm today (Tuesday).”

A statement from Rangers read: “Rangers would like to put on record their thanks to Motherwell FC, the SPFL, Sky Sports and Police Scotland for agreeing to the change of date.”