A number of budget-conscious sports editors have turned their backs on media places on the Scottish Football Association’s charter plane for the forthcoming friendly match in Norway.
Only around 15 members of the usual 40-strong media corps will fly with the Scottish team and officials – with the others baulking at the cost of almost £850 for the return flight and two night’s stay in Oslo.
Among those who has made his own arrangements is The Scotsman’s chief football correspondent Glenn Gibbons who will save his paper around 50 per cent.
Gibbons will pay only £174 for a return flight from Glasgow to Oslo via Amsterdam with KLM compared to the SFA’s flight tariff of around £500.
And he has arranged three nights accommodation at a four-star hotel in Oslo for just £266 – taking his total outlay to just £440 although he will have to meet taxi fares in place of the coach transfers which are part of the SFA package.
In his weekly column in The Scotsman, Gibbons has chided the SFA.
Explaining that sports editors were “appalled” at the cost of the SFA charter, Gibbons pointed out: “Since the cost of a seat on the plane was set at around £500, this means the SFA will lose at least £12,500 in revenue.
“If, as seems highly probable, there is also a shortfall among members of the Executive Travel Club who regularly make these trips, the drop in income will be even greater.
“Of course, chartered aircraft are expensive at this time of year, but would it be asking too much of someone in authority at the SFA to realise that the price would be prohibitive and to offer a substantial reduction in the cause of recouping something rather than nothing?”
By Hamish Mackay