0 Call-off fiasco leaves a bad taste with Dons and fans

Aberdeen will await the findings of the SPL inquest into the postponement of Saturday's match at Kilmarnock before deciding whether to pursue the Rugby Park club for compensation.

The SPL has launched an investigation into why Saturday's match in Ayrshire was called off at 10am when Kilmarnock have undersoil heating.

As part of the criteria for entry into the SPL, all clubs must have adequate systems in place to combat the type of conditions seen in Ayrshire at the weekend where temperatures dropped to -2C over-night.

A decision will be made on the rearranged date by the SPL today, with a midweek date in early 2009 likely.

The weekend fiasco left a bad taste for the Dons and their considerable travelling support.

The Aberdeen squad stayed overnight in Kilmarnock at considerable expense, as did a large number of supporters who made the journey south on the eve of the match.

A large portion of the Red Army had also begun making the 340-mile round trip when the postponement was announced just after 10am.

There was a similar problem at Fir Park as Motherwell's match against Hearts was also postponed at 11.45am due to the frost, despite the Lanarkshire club spending £100,000 in the summer on repairs to its heating.

Both Kilmarnock and Motherwell have the required undersoil heating but there have been questions as to whether the systems were faulty or if they had even been turned on.

The findings could open the door for the Dons to seek remuneration for their outgoings as well as seeing Killie and Motherwell being fined.

A spokesman for the SPL said: "We have rules in place with regards to undersoil heating for dealing with weather like this.

"There will be an urgent and serious inquiry as to why they did not do there job."

Dons coach Sandy Clark insisted the conditions were far from severe enough to merit the match being postponed. He said: "It was not the heaviest frost in the world and there was no snow.

"They have a different type of system to us, but somebody somewhere has got it wrong.

"Unfortunately, the supporters are the ones who are suffering."

Dons spokesman David Macdermid confirmed the club would be watching the SPL inquest with interest.

He said: "The 10am pitch inspection was not early enough.

"There was some suggestion it was Aberdeen who requested the inspection, but that was not the case.

"There were doubts raised about the pitch on Friday and if that was the case a decision should have been made earlier.

"The team went down on Friday, but it is the supporters who were hit the hardest.

"A lot of them went down on the Friday night and by 10am a lot of the buses would have been past Dundee.

"It costs a considerable amount of money and we are disappointed for them to be so inconvenienced, especially at this time of year."

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnson could not say what caused the Rugby Park undersoil heating to fail to operate properly.

He said: "We do not know the reason for it, but the pitch was frozen.

"Rugby Park is rarely off. We have a terrific pitch and the groundsman is really good. I have no idea what happened but we will try to get to the bottom of it."

Source:-The Press & Journal

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