Weather puts paid to SPL games

29 December 2009 11:27
Celtic's bid to enter the new year by narrowing the gap to leaders Rangers has been hit by the postponement of their clash at Kilmarnock.

Once again it was ruled unsafe for spectators to travel to the game which was due to be staged at Rugby Park.

Hamilton's home date with St Mirren and Hibs' home clash with St Johnstone are also off.

It left Rangers' clash with third-placed Dundee United and Hearts' match with Motherwell as the only fixtures set to take place on Wednesday.

The four games have all been called off due to adverse weather conditions in Scotland.

An SPL spokesman said: "The playing surfaces were in order but in both cases the police made the decision on the grounds of public safety.

"We are touch with our clubs about the other games and will keep everyone updated with any developments."

Aberdeen managing director Duncan Fraser told RedTV that "treacherous" conditions around Pittodrie made postponing their game an easy decision to make.

He said: "We inspected the pitch again this morning, we inspected the terracing and everything was fine about there.

"The problem is that the surrounding streets are just treacherous."

Aberdeen have now seen their last two games postponed.

Fraser said: "What you've got to hope is that Saturday's game at Tannadice goes ahead because the last thing anybody wants is a build-up of fixtures."

St Johnstone managing director Stewart Duff also admitted there was no option but for the visit of Hibs to be called off.

He told the club's official website: "We are confident that the pitch and stadium would have been okay but unfortunately the sheer volume of snow which has fallen in the car park is an insurmountable problem.

"Our normal contractors who attend to the car park in these conditions are understandably concentrating on the roads network and even if they had been able to attend, there is the question of where they were going to put any snow lifted.

"At best we might have been looking at only half the car park being available.

"It's very disappointing but spectator safety comes first and hopefully this early decision on the game will be helpful to supporters."

However, Hibs manager John Hughes is frustrated that his side will not get the chance to make up for their 4-1 defeat by Rangers on Sunday.

He said: "We wanted to get back on track, we were preparing for it.

"When the boys came in here this morning, I detected a bit of fire in their bellies, a wee bit of anger."

As for Hearts' clash against Motherwell, Tynecastle will be subject to a 2pm pitch inspection on Wednesday to assess supporter safety and accessibility.

The pitch was playable on Tuesday afternoon but Hearts staff are clearing ice and snow and laying salt around the stadium. The club are expecting a delivery of salt supplies on Wednesday morning.

A club spokesperson said: "We are hopeful that the game will proceed as planned. We are continuing to sell tickets for the game and are expecting a large crowd at Tynecastle.

"We are therefore doing everything we can to clear the ice and snow-covered areas around the stadium. Naturally we will also be monitoring the weather forecast between now and then.

"We are also very conscious of the distances that supporters of both Hearts and Motherwell have to make in order to get to the game and, as such, we fully intend to release a statement as soon as possible after the 2pm inspection."

Source: Team_Talk

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