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Rangers accuse Dundee of ‘negligence’ over call-off

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Rangers’ director of football operations Creag Robertson inspected the pitch after the game was called off last Wednesday

Rangers have accused Dundee of “negligence and unprofessionalism” after their Scottish Premiership match was postponed for a second time because of a waterlogged pitch.

The Dens Park surface passed an inspection at 11:00 BST but heavy rainfall has rendered it unplayable after another check at 15:30.

The match will now take place on Wednesday, 17 April.

There will be disciplinary proceedings against Dundee after a fifth call-off.

“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 said in a statement.

“In a week where record TV viewing figures were recorded for a match in the same competition, and Wednesday’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.”

In their own statement, Dundee thanked their supporters as well as staff and contractors for their efforts this week in attempting to make the pitch playable.

“Unfortunately one area of the pitch was deemed unplayable due to the heavy rain on Wednesday afternoon,” it added.

Rangers are one point behind Celtic following Sunday’s thrilling 3-3 derby draw at Ibrox, and this is Philippe Clement’s side’s game in hand over their city rivals.

A victory would have taken them two points clear at the league summit, while a Dundee win would have clinched a top-six berth.

With Tony Docherty’s side still to confirm their place in the top half, the second postponement of this fixture has potentially disrupted the usual process of all clubs confirming their status on the same weekend before the five post-split games are then announced.

Dundee need a win away to Aberdeen on Saturday to make sure of a top-six finish.

Rangers, meanwhile, are away to Ross County on Sunday.

SPFL chief operating officer Calum Beattie confirmed the contingency plan was always for the game to be played next Wednesday, and no other solution was found after discussions with both clubs.

“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,” Beattie said in a statement.

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

However, Rangers say they suggested alternative solutions which “have not been taken up”, adding they have written to the league with a different proposal for ensuring the match takes place.

As well as this fixture with Rangers being postponed twice, Dundee have also had home games against Aberdeen, Ross County, and St Johnstone called off this season.

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