Dundee expressed their frustration at referee David Munro’s late decision to call off their game against Aberdeen.
Munro deemed one of the Dens Park goalmouths waterlogged and the match was postponed about an hour before kick-off. But the rain soon stopped as forecast and Dundee went on to train on the pitch.
It was the second cinch Premiership match to be postponed because of the wet weather after Ross County’s game against Hibernian in Dingwall fell foul of a 10am pitch inspection.
A Dundee 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 (Scottish Professional Football League) 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 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 (Scottish Football Association) 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.”
Aberdeen chief executive Alan Burrows apologised to supporters who made their way down Scotland’s north-east coast for no reason two days before Christmas.
“It’s a real sickener for them because it’s been a difficult season already for them in terms of travelling, all across Europe, to the cup final, all over Scotland following the team, so I’m hugely frustrated for them, as well as for the players who have worked hard since the Livingston game to be ready for this one,” Burrows told RedTV.
“We had 3,500 Aberdeen fans coming here to roar on the team, so to be told the game is off as most of them are queuing up to get into the stadium is hugely frustrating. Collectively in Scottish football, we need to do better than that.
“I wasn’t here in Dundee earlier today so I can’t comment on the state of things this morning.
“But what I would say is that I think it’s really incumbent upon all clubs and others to give fans as much notice as they can and if that means having earlier precautionary inspections, so be it.
“We checked this morning with Dundee about the pitch and the playability of the game given the weather in Aberdeen wasn’t the best, and we were given assurances that they were very confident the game would go on.”
Cove Rangers managed to get their League One game against Edinburgh City on after volunteers helped clear snow off the pitch.
The Aberdeen-based club offered free entry to “anyone who can provide a helping hand with a snow shovel”.
The game eventually kicked off half-an-hour late.