St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick has written to Motherwell to complain about Fir Park coach Maurice Ross’ comments on the postponed match between the sides.
The teams were due to play on Saturday in the Premiership but the game was called off just hours before kick-off as St Mirren were unable to field a team after a coronavirus outbreak at the club.
The Scottish Professional Football League granted the request for a postponement and are to investigate the circumstances. It was the second league game in succession that Motherwell have seen cancelled because of the virus after a similar problem hit Kilmarnock.
Motherwell coach Ross spoke on the BBC about the call-off and the effects of the coronavirus, suggesting teams unable to play a fixtures should forfeit the points.
The detail of his interview has angered St Mirren and Fitzpatrick has complained to his Fir Park counterpart, claiming that Ross “cast doubt” on the reason for the postponement.
A St Mirren statement read: “St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick has written to his Motherwell counterpart Alan Burrows to complain about unacceptable statements by Fir Park coach Maurice Ross during a BBC Radio Scotland broadcast in which Ross cast doubt on the reasons for St Mirren seeking the Covid-related cancellation of Saturday’s scheduled clash between the two clubs.
“The text of Tony’s letter reads: I am writing to express my disappointment at the comments of Maurice Ross on the above Podcast following the postponement of the fixture between our respective clubs on Saturday 17 October.
“In particular I deprecate any suggestion that we or any other football club would take advantage of this pandemic for personal gain. Any notion that we have been “opportunistic” in seeking to discharge our public health responsibilities is a fallacy. I cannot fathom why Mr Ross would seek to publicly call into question the integrity of a fellow SPFL member club for adhering to the agreed protocols which are in place to protect players, officials and clubs.
“As we, and all football clubs in Scotland, try to navigate our way through these difficult times the comments of Mr Ross are both unfortunate and unhelpful.
“With respect I would suggest Mr Ross might want to reflect on the comments which he broadcast to the nation and I am sure he will support your fellow clubs in being hyper vigilant as we work together to tackle this virus. I would be grateful if he could avoid such derisory language in future.”