Referee Steven MacLean has explained why he was left with little option but to postpone this afternoon’s Premiership clash between St Johnstone and Ross County after a deluge left the McDiarmid Park pitch waterlogged.
MacLean pulled the plug with less than an hour until kick-off in Perth and the whistler admitted that concerns over player safety were the main factor in his decision.
Game off ❌
After heavy rainfall referee Steven MacLean has called the game off.#SJFC https://t.co/1sVYflMLYj
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) December 4, 2021
After an inspection a 1.30, the referee took another look 30 minutes later having given the St Johnstone ground staff a chance to work on the pitch and make it playable.
Speaking to BBC Sportsound MacLean said: “No, unfortunately, I did not [have much option but to call the game off].
“It was a very difficult decision, particularly when it is so close to kick-off time.
“It is not a decision you take lightly. We tried to give it every opportunity but there has been a lot of rain this morning here and unfortunately, the pitch was fully saturated.
“The corner of the pitch that was of primary concern was to the right-hand side of the main stand and across the far area of the penalty area and the far wing.
“The ball just was not bouncing, it was very very soft underfoot and it was clearly going to be a potential danger for player safety.
“Once that became an issue at 1:30 pm when we did that inspection, we made the decision that the game is off at that point.
“But in order to give the game every opportunity we delayed the decision to give the ground staff, who were working very hard on the pitch, more time to make it playable.
“Unfortunately, following a second inspection at 2 pm there really was not a great deal of change and again the ball was not bouncing.
“So, unfortunately we had to postpone the match.”
While there’s been no date announced yet by the SPFL, the game could be squeezed in this coming midweek with neither St Johnstone or Ross County in action again until next Saturday.
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