Dundee v Ayr United: Postponement 'farcical' says James McPake

The pitch at Dens Park was deemed unplayable
The pitch at Dens Park was deemed unplayable

The decision to call off Dundee's Scottish Championship meeting with Ayr United is "farcical", according to manager James McPake.

The Dens Park club called an inspection at 10:30 GMT, and the pitch was passed as fit for play by a local referee.

But match referee David Munro decided a sodden patch of grass made the surface unsafe when he examined it at 13:30.

"Our pitch is in better condition this week than it was last week when we played 120 minutes on it," McPake said.

"Our grounds staff have worked ever so hard. We had an inspection at 10:30 this morning which passed.

"You add the hours on, there's been no rainfall, the sun's been on the pitch and the ground staff have worked on the pitch and somehow the referee's decided it's unsafe."

Munro told BBC Scotland there was a "clear danger" to players due to the waterlogged area, and the ball was struggling to move there.

"When we went out to do the pitch inspection it was clear there was an issue with water lying on the pitch," he said.

"So we went back in and got changed, and when we came back out with the boots and the ball it was clear that there was a waterlogged area in front of the technical areas and down near the 18-yard box next to the tunnel.

"There was no doubt, due to player safety, the match had to be postponed."

Dundee requested that kick-off be delayed in order to give them time to rectify the problem, and Ayr agreed.

But the SPFL said the decision was ultimately down to the referee, who made the call to postpone the match.

The meeting was the second Championship fixture to be postponed, after Raith Rovers' match with Inverness Caledonian Thistle was called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Fife side's squad.

The hosts told the SPFL they could not fulfil the fixture due to the number of players who tested positive or are self-isolating as close contacts.

The club had announced the cases are among the playing and backroom staff.

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