Dundee v Rangers match to go ahead at Dens Park after pitch judged playable

The match will go ahead at the third time of asking after a successful pitch inspection.

Dundee’s twice-postponed match against Rangers will go ahead at Dens Park on Wednesday after the ground passed a pitch inspection.

The SPFL had put in place a contingency plan to move the fixture to St Johnstone’s ground if the playing surface at Dens Park proved unfit to host a match for the sixth time this season.

The league body had called in pitch consultants used by UEFA to provide them with guidance ahead of the game, and the consultants, the SPFL and Rangers were given daily updates by Dundee over the past week.

A pitch inspection by the match referee on Tuesday morning, which also took into account the forecast over the next 36 hours, has led to the match being given the green light, and the teams will take to the turf at Dens Park on Wednesday night.

A league spokesperson said: “The SPFL can confirm that the cinch Premiership game between Dundee and Rangers scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday April 17, is set to go ahead as planned at the Scot Foam Stadium, Dens Park.

“The game, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, kick-off 8.00pm, passed a pitch inspection by the match referee this morning.

“On the basis of the weather forecasts and following discussions with the SPFL-appointed pitch consultants, who have been at the stadium for a number of days, no further inspection is planned ahead of the match.

“Contingency plans had been put in place by the league to switch the fixture to McDiarmid Park should the pitch have been deemed unplayable today, but these will no longer be required and that the game will go ahead as planned at Dens Park.

The re-arranged league fixture must go ahead this week after being postponed on two previous occasions, with the publication of the Premiership’s post-split fixtures being held up until the game is played.

The condition of the playing surface at Dens Park has caused problems throughout the season, resulting in Dundee facing disciplinary action from the SPFL.

Rangers and other clubs have made their feelings known about the club’s problems in hosting their games, and the Ibrox club also criticised the SPFL over last week’s postponement, saying they would have been happy to play a day later or at another ground.

A statement from the Ibrox club after the second postponement read: “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.

“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.

“At this time, we sympathise fully once again with our supporters, approximately 4,000 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.”

Dundee have admitted that their pitch needs urgent work but club secretary Eric Drysdale drew further criticism, and some mockery, for claiming that climate change was a factor in the club’s problems.

“I can understand people are annoyed at this and are looking at it as Dundee’s fault,” he told Sky Sports.

“What I would say is that from the research we have done in the last few days this year’s rainfall is 35 per cent higher than the 10-year average – that shows the effects of climate change on it and it shows the work we have to do urgently on the Dens Park pitch.

“The pitch is of a very good quality but there have been a number of occasions when home fixtures have corresponded with bad weather such as the storms last October which was the highest rainfall ever recorded in Scotland and on the back of Storm Babette between Christmas and New Year when we had the fixture with St Johnstone. 

“It’s very clear that work needs to be done to rectify the situation and we absolutely recognise the challenges we face and the club will do what is needed.”

While the area has suffered significantly more rainfall than average over the last few months, Dundee United’s ground has not experienced major problems despite being located just 200 yards away.

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