A Highland politician has condemned a decision to change the timing of the Scottish Cup final to avoid a clash with the FA cup in England.

The June 3 match between league champions Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle is scheduled for a 5.30pm kick-off instead of the traditional 3pm start.

With the game taking place on the same day as the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United, broadcasters Viaplay and BBC Scotland are said to have been keen not to go head-to-head with the English version.

Drew Hendry, SNP MP for Inverness, described the change by the SFA as "wholly unacceptable" saying it would leave Inverness fans at a disadvantage because there are no trains or buses running from Glasgow after the final whistle is blown.

Both Celtic FC and Inverness criticised the decision to change the match time said they did not believe the change was necessary "or in the best interests of both sets of supporters."

Scotrail said the late kick-off would "severely restrict options" for fans intending to travel home that night but said it was not consulted by the Scottish FA ahead of the decision.

The rail operator said it was "looking at all available options" to support Inverness fans to travel home after the match.

READ MORE: The crucial matches that won Celtic the league title 

Mr Hendry has written to the SFA urging the authority to reconsider the decision and suggested it might encourage fans to drink and drive.

He writes: "It has been suggested that the decision was made to avoid a clash with the English FA Cup final, in England, which if true is wholly unacceptable and sends the wrong message about the importance of the Scottish Cup Final to fans in Scotland.

The Herald:

"The change in kick-off time creates a major inconvenience for fans travelling from the Highlands.

"There are no trains or buses available for fans from Inverness if it is played this late.

"This lack of adequate transport not only inconveniences fans but also presents a safety risk to supporters who may have to resort to other means of transportation."

READ MORE: Inverness focussed on play-off push despite cup final excitment

He urged the SFA to reconsider the timing of the game or liaise with Scotrail to ensure that extra trains are scheduled for fans travelling back to Inverness.

He said: "Something's got to give, and I hope that for the sake of fans of travelling from the Highlands, that common sense prevails."

The match was at one point timetabled for a lunchtime start but this was abandoned.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “We regularly add extra services and more seats to trains to help supporters get to big matches, such as internationals and cup finals. 

“With an evening kick-off time, and the need for fans to make their way to Glasgow Queen Street after the match, it is a significant challenge to make any later services available. 

“However, our train planning team is currently looking at options available and we will do everything we can to help supporters get to and from the match to cheer on their team.”