Dundee v Rangers – “This problem can only get worse”

Dundee v Rangers – “This problem can only get worse”
A sodden Dens Park this morning (Credit Rangers FC)

The fallout from this morning’s postponement falls squarely on Dundee, who have had to postpone matches several times already this season.

Rangers assistant Stephan van der Heyden posted a video of just how rotten the bog at Dens is this morning, with a mud-swilled swamp effectively being in the place of a football pitch.

Why has this happened?

It’s a long story, but the basic answer is that despite Dens Park’s renovation around 25 years ago, one thing they didn’t fix enough was the drainage system.

In simple terms, Dens Park doesn’t have a proper drainage for heavy rain, and even in 2016 this was an issue announced by the club:

“The Dens Park pitch has a major subterranean drainage issue (200m2) which is rendering part of the surface completely unplayable. We have major compaction in the sub soil for around 12” above the drains which is preventing the water reaching the drains and causing it to back up on to the pitch. This has resulted in a thick layer of thatch to form beneath the surface which is also an impediment to effective drainage as this acts as a sponge causing the turf to retain water.

This problem can only get worse and indeed is beginning to spread outwith the original footprint.

We have consulted with experts from the Sportsturf and Landscaping Industry and have been advised that this area needs to be excavated and rebuilt with a new layer of turf also being installed. The undersoil heating pipes make this work difficult as a lot of the excavation will need to be done by hand to avoid damage to the pipes.”

In simple terms, Dens Park isn’t up to code, and never has been. It’s not been suitable even for Scottish Championship football never mind Premiership, and it’s cost Dundee a lot of matches.

The biggest problem?

They don’t have the money to buy a new stadium. These things cost money, and Dundee don’t have the several million pounds a new ground would cost.

It just about matches SPL basic guidelines, but that’s it. They are a Championship team who don’t have the infrastructure for the SPL, and that’s bit them in the backside several times this season.

And now they will have to deal with Rangers, because this postponement was dreadfully handled.

We have far from heard the last of this one.

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