IT has long been accepted wisdom among increasingly disgruntled fans that football has sold its soul to television. The disruption and the hassle it causes those supporters who actually pay their hard-earned money to attend games, and the knock-on effect it has on attendances, have long been tolerated due to the revenue broadcasters brings to the party. Through necessity, you hold your nose, and you take the cash.

It seems the game has had its snout in the trough for so long though that it is in danger of losing sight of what is really important, and this applies more to football in Scotland than almost anywhere else.

The UEFA Benchmark report in 2017 outlined that the percentage of club revenue that comes from television in Scotland, at 11 percent, is among the lowest in Europe. With new broadcasting deals in place, that may have crept up slightly, but still nowhere near the average of almost 25%, or the major leagues which rely on television for around 50% of their overall revenue.

It can just about be justified having such disruption when you are propped up so much by cash, but should Scotland be such slaves to television when supporters actually contribute a higher percentage of a club’s revenue?

This brings us to the decision to move the Scottish Cup quarter final between Partick Thistle and Hearts to the new slot of five past seven on a Monday night so that it can be broadcast on BBC Scotland.

In times past, fans used to moan about their tie being overlooked for television due to the added revenue that it would bring, but with that cash now weighed more upon prize money for how far you progress in the tournament, having a game on at such a time will actually leave the clubs involved worse off.

Previously, Partick Thistle could have relied upon around £85,000 for a live game to compensate for the loss of revenue through the turnstiles, but with that figure falling to around £20,000, it won’t even make a dent in the losses that the Firhill club can reasonably expect to make through diminished ticket and hospitality income.

Thistle fear that as many as 4000 supporters who would have gone to the match had it been played on either the Saturday or Sunday will now be unable to attend, and at £20 a skull, it doesn’t take Carol Vorderman to tell you that £60,000 is a fair old whack of cash for a club to lose out on.

Even for Thistle fans, getting to Firhill for a game at five past seven will mean taking time off work for many of them. For Hearts fans coming from Edinburgh, you are talking about taking a half-day at the very least to make it on time. You could hardly blame anyone for deciding that it’s just not worth the hassle and settling down to watch it in the comfort of their living room.

The scheduling of the match seems utterly self-defeating. The spectacle too will be adversely affected by being played against a backdrop of empty grey, yellow and red seats instead of a raucous full house.

Why bend over backwards to accommodate such demands when the clubs are taking a financial hit, and when it results in annoying their core customer base, the match-going supporter?

We all want Scottish football to get the best broadcasting deal. We have an exciting ‘product’, and heaven knows there has been criticism of the game’s head honchos because of the relatively low levels of investment we attract compared to leagues of similar standing.

But where do you cross that line between accommodating broadcasters and supporters? Well, a Monday night kick-off at five past seven for a game of such importance must be pretty close to the mark.

With the lack of consideration given to them, you could hardly blame fans for switching off completely.