Dundee have revealed their unhappiness at the late cancellation of their Premiership match against Aberdeen and will be lodging a complaint with the SPFL and the SFA.
The club announced the postponement of the Premiership clash around an hour before kick-off, following a pitch inspection by match referee David Munro.
Munro had found areas of the pitch to be unplayable and called the match off, reportedly saying there were safety concerns.
Dundee claim that Munro arrived to inspect the pitch later than expected and made the decision without consultation with either club, Police Scotland or anyone else. They feel Munro made the wrong call, with the weather forecast favourable and work being done to improve the playing surface.
The club also pointed out that after the game was called off, their first team squad had been able to train on the pitch, proving that it was not unsafe.
They will now take further action, raising the issue with both the league organisers and with the SFA, who provide match referees.
A club statement read: “Dundee Football Club are extremely disappointed and frustrated at the decision to call off this afternoon’s match against Aberdeen.
“The club had monitored the condition of the pitch and were not concerned that the match would be postponed. The weather forecast was also closely monitored and it was to be dry and windy come 2.30pm which it was.
“When half of the refereeing team arrived, later than would normally be expected, at the Scot Foam Stadium between 1.40pm and 1.50pm they indicated that they would carry out a full pitch inspection. Following the inspection the referee decided that the game was not going to take place and called the match off.
“The club are extremely unhappy with what followed next and the actions of the referee. There was no consultation with Police Scotland, club officials, either manager, the SPFL Delegate, the match commander, the safety team or the grounds team.
“The decision was announced publicly without giving club officials and Police Scotland the opportunity to manage supporter safety considerations.
“Additionally, the SPFL has given clear guidelines that referees should take all steps to get matches on, which include delaying kick-off, as was seen with the match this afternoon at Cove.
“The club fully believe that the pitch was playable today and this was then illustrated with the players training on the pitch at 3pm.
“The club will be seeking clarity from the SPFL and the SFA regarding protocols and match postponements and in the meantime can only apologise to the supporters of both clubs who have been let down by the very late and unnecessary call-off.”
Writing on social media before Dundee communicated the full details of the postponement, Aberdeen chief executive Alan Burrows revealed his own disappointment, revealing that 3000 Aberdeen fans had begun to make their journey to the game and that the process around call-offs had to be “much, much better”.
Burrows said: “Desperately sorry for every Dons fan (we had sold out the Bob Shankley Stand with over 3,000 due to be there) who made the trip to Dundee, only for the game to be called off just before 2pm.
“We checked with our opponents earlier in the morning and were assured the pitch was fine.
“It was therefore a surprise and bitter disappointment that we’ve ultimately not got a game to play.
“Games going off at this time of year isn’t the biggest issue (albeit with the calendar so congested, it’s not helpful in the slightest). Giving supporters as much notice, even as a precaution, as possible should be absolutely paramount.
“Collectively, we’ve got to be much, much better. Sorry once again to all those who have bought tickets and made the journey.”
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