McDiarmid Park lined up for Dundee-Rangers clash if Dens Park unsuitable

The Scottish Professional Football League is eager for the game to be played before the post-split fixtures.

Dens Park faces a pitch inspection on Tuesday
Dens Park faces a pitch inspection on Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

McDiarmid Park has been lined up for Wednesday’s cinch Premiership encounter between Dundee and Rangers if Dens Park fails a pitch inspection on Tuesday.

The Scottish Professional Football League is eager for the game to be played before the post-split fixtures begin even though Dundee clinched the final place in the top six with a draw at Aberdeen on Saturday.

The match has been postponed twice because of a waterlogged surface. The game was initially called off last month 90 minutes before kick-off and last Wednesday saw the fifth postponement at Dens Park this season.

In a statement, the league announced its contingency measures.

Rangers could be back at McDiarmid Park
Rangers could be back at McDiarmid Park (Steve Welsh/PA)

“The SPFL has appointed an experienced pitch consultancy, which is regularly used by UEFA and other sporting bodies, to report back to the league with guidance on the condition of the pitch in advance of Wednesday’s match,” it read.

“Dundee were also informed on Thursday that they must provide the pitch consultants, SPFL and Rangers with daily updates on the playing surface and weather forecast, and immediately report any concerns regarding Wednesday’s match being played at Dens Park.

“It has further been agreed that the match official will carry out an inspection of the playing surface on the morning of Tuesday, April 16, after which, taking weather forecasts into account, a final decision will be taken on whether to play the game at Dens Park.

“If the game cannot be played at Dens Park, the SPFL has confirmed that it will be moved to St Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park on Wednesday, April 17, with Dundee making arrangements for fans of both teams to attend.

“If the game requires to be moved to McDiarmid Park, it will still be categorised as a Dundee FC ‘home game’.

“The SPFL is grateful for the assistance of St Johnstone and will make a further announcement (on Tuesday).”

Rangers added in their own statement: “Following strong representations from Rangers, supporters who have tickets for Dens Park will be able to attend the game at McDiarmid Park, should it move.”

Despite the make-up of the top and bottom six being known, the SPFL will not finalise its post-split fixtures until after Wednesday’s game.

Part of the reason is understood to be that Dundee, theoretically, could move up to fifth place, with positions influencing the scheduling. Dundee are three points behind St Mirren and five goals worse off.

Victory for Dundee on Wednesday would likely mean Celtic will host Rangers in the first game after the split to avoid any prospect of the fourth Glasgow derby of the season being a title decider.