Ibrox fury

Rangers accuse Dundee of ‘negligence’ after call-off

Dens Park
Unplayable: Dens Park.

Rangers have accused Dundee of “negligence and unprofessionalism” after their Premiership fixture was postponed for a second time due to the state of the Dens Park pitch.

The teams were scheduled to go head to head this evening but referee Don Robertson declared the surface unplayable at 3.30pm after more heavy rainfall.

The fixture has now been rescheduled for Wednesday, 17 April, with an 8pm kick-off.

It’s the fifth postponement of the season at Dens, with title-chasing Rangers left fuming at the latest call-off, the Glasgow giants demanding the authorities take action against Dundee.

A statement from the Ibrox club said: “Rangers has written to the SPFL outlining its position following today’s further postponement of the Dundee Scottish Premiership fixture.

“The negligence and unprofessionalism demonstrated by Dundee Football Club, where they have repeatedly breached SPFL rules, continues to have a damaging effect on the top professional league in the country.

“In a week where record TV viewing figures were recorded for a match in the same competition, and this evening’s game due to be televised again by Sky Sports, this episode is deeply embarrassing and has also been eminently avoidable.

“Rangers expects the SPFL to take proportionate and decisive action in accordance with its rules, and the club will continue to make representations to them in the strongest possible manner.

“The club has been repeatedly putting forward solutions to the SPFL, which have not been taken up. It has again proposed a solution to the preparation and execution of this rescheduled fixture and is awaiting a response from the SPFL. As things stand, the rescheduled match will be on Wednesday, April 17 at 8pm. The club considers that this matter has been handled incorrectly throughout by both Dundee and the SPFL.

“At this time, we sympathise fully once again with our supporters, approximately 4000 of whom were looking forward to attending tonight’s game. Having already been left hugely inconvenienced and out of pocket by the first postponement last month, it is entirely unacceptable and disrespectful on the part of Dundee FC to have allowed this situation to have developed again.”

SPFL chief operating officer Calum Beattie, said: “The match referee has carried out two detailed pitch inspections today and in light of the forecast for heavy rain later today in Dundee, a decision has now been taken that the pitch will not be playable this evening.

“Whilst this development is extremely disappointing, we have had contingency measures in place since last month and informed both clubs by email on March 21st of our intention, should tonight’s game fall victim to the weather, that we would rearrange the game for Dens Park on the evening of Wednesday, April 17th.

“In the last week we have explored other possible options with both clubs but none of them were deemed to be better than our original contingency plan.

“This decision gives this vital fixture the very best chance of being played in front of both sets of supporters and also gives us a week to finalise further contingency planning in the event that the weather unexpectedly deteriorates in the interim.

“There is currently an ongoing disciplinary process regarding pitch issues at Dens Park and the latest developments will form part of those enquiries.”

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