SCOTTISH football bosses are facing angry calls to consider their positions after being forced into a humiliating u-turn over whether or not to try and stage two showpiece Betfred Cup semi-finals on the same day at Hampden.

After 48-hours of intensive lobbying from fans, police and politicians to rethink the scheduling that would have seen tens of thousands of fans from Aberdeen, Hearts, Celtic and Rangers swarm into Glasgow on October 28 for an early and late kick-off, a review is now to take place.

Rangers were to play Aberdeen at 12pm, with Celtic due to face Hearts later in the day at 7.45pm, in a move widely condemned across footballing hues – not least because of the additional pressures on the transport network by being on a Sunday.

But last night, after the issue was raised with senior police chiefs and in Holyrood, it was confirmed new talks will go ahead.

That could ultimately see one match – most likely Rangers v Aberdeen played at Hampden with the Hearts and Celtic tie moved to Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

The announcement came after it emerged the logjam was caused by a potential legal wrangle with the Scottish Professional Football League and their counterparts the Scottish Football Association, who own subsidiary Hampden Park Ltd.

Hampden Park Ltd is the company set up by the SFA to run the stadium, which is still owned by Queen's Park ahead of a planned sale to the governing body.

Critics last night said the contract dispute had turned Scottish football into a “laughing stock”.

Labour MP and Hearts fan Ian Murray said: “This whole situation brings the whole of Scottish football into disrepute, it has become a laughing stock.

“Both the SFA and SPFL must take a long hard look at themselves and wonder whether they are the best people to be in charge of the game.

“They are the custodians of the game and should always put fans first rather than threaten each other with legal action.”

"Heads should roll. It’s time for the SFA and SPFL to reform."

But SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “This is clearly extremely welcome news. After the draw, we spoke to Hampden Park Limited to ask whether they would release us from a contractual obligation to host all semi-finals involving the Old Firm at Hampden.”

“They declined our request and we were unwilling to breach this contract and risk legal action.

“However, I’m pleased to report that we have been contacted this morning by SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell, who said that Hampden Park Limited has now reconsidered that position and have agreed to waive that legal obligation. This has enabled us to open talks to explore whether the match could be staged at an alternative venue in the timescales available.”

The move to have both matches on the same day, with 100,000 fans of the clubs in Glasgow were condemned by rank-and-file police officers as “idiotic”.

Scottish Police Federation’s general secretary Calum Steele said: “Even if there was nothing else on that date, the police service is going to be run ragged. The one word that describes it best is just simply idiotic”.

The issue was raised at Holyrood yesterday and Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins also demanded a rethink amid widespread anger across the country.

He said: “I think it sensible to discuss the issues raised with the SPFL and other stakeholders and I have asked the SPFL to look again at the transport plan so we can make a full public safety assessment.”

It is understood that will still include assessing if it will be easier for Police Scotland to manage fans in one city centre or two, as well as the knock-on effects for travel, business, residents and other events due to take place on the same day.

Initially, the two ties were scheduled for October 27 and 28 but tournament organisers were forced into their first rethink as Rangers and Celtic are in Europa League action on the Thursday before the semi-finals.

Labour MSP James Kelly said: “I welcome the fact that the SPFL are now looking again at the matter.

“Regardless of contract obligations, crowd safety must be paramount and they should never allow a situation where two are scheduled to take pace at the same venue on the same day.”

SNP MSP James Dornan, whose constituency includes Hampden, accused the SPFL of a “disregard” for football fans and public services, and also called for a revamp of the way Scottish football is governed.

Sport minister Joe Fitzpatrick said the Scottish Government recognised there was widespread anger over the decision.

He said: “The Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and ScotRail were not consulted ahead of the SPFL announcement, though we have discussed this issue with all key organisations – including ScotRail and Police Scotland.”

Scotrail revealed they had not been consulted over the decision after fans pointed out that the first train from Aberdeen to Glasgow on game day did not arrive until 15 minutes after kick-off.

Hearts fans also faced missing the last train back to Edinburgh after their match.

Hearts manager and director of football Craig Levein said the decision was “the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced in football”, “just madness”, “doesn’t compute”, “defies any sort of logic” and is “farcical”.