Thursday, May 23, 2024

Dundee-Rangers postponed again due to waterlogged Dens Park pitch

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Apr 2024

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Rangers’ cinch Premiership match against Dundee has been postponed for a second time after the Dens Park pitch failed another inspection.

The game has been rescheduled for next Wednesday night, April 17, with an 8pm kick-off.

Referee Don Robertson passed the pitch fit after an 11am inspection but a further check failed following several hours of rain with the decision announced just before 4pm.

Footage showed the ball failing to bounce in certain areas after Robertson threw it into the air.

The postponement could delay the publication of the remaining Premiership fixtures as the league is due to split into two after the weekend games.

Dundee will secure a top-six place on Saturday if they beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie and even a draw could suffice, if Motherwell get a result against Hibernian, with both those teams in the running for the final place in the top half.

SPFL chief operating officer Calum Beattie said in a statement: “The match referee has carried out two detailed pitch inspections 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.”

The game was initially postponed last month, 90 minutes before it was due to kick off. The latest postponement is the fifth at the stadium this season and Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell claimed “four or five areas” of the pitch were not playable after his side’s 3-2 win there on Saturday.

That game only went ahead after a second pitch inspection at 1pm with visiting fans already on the road when confirmation came through.

Rangers manager Philippe Clement labelled the uncertainty “crazy” on the eve of the game despite Dundee managing director John Nelms claiming he was as “confident as we can be” that the game would go ahead.

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