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Arbroath hail SPFL as early inspection grants postponement amid Storm Malik chaos

Arbroath chairman Mike Caird has praised the SPFL for granting an early inspection which led to the postponement of their clash with Partick
Arbroath chairman Mike Caird has praised the SPFL for granting an early inspection which led to the postponement of their clash with Partick

Arbroath have praised the SPFL for granting them an early pitch inspection before the postponement of their clash with Partick Thistle.

The game was called off at around 11.10am after the ruling body gave the Lichties dispensation to carry out an inspection of the playing conditions due to Gayfield’s proximity to the North Sea.

Under usual circumstances, the fate of fixtures affected by wind would be decided by the matchday referee at 1.30pm.

Special dispensation

However, with the east of Scotland placed under a Met Office severe weather warning due to Storm Malik, the SPFL granted Arbroath permission to assess the situation earlier than planned.

“We were conscious the weather conditions had been pretty bad and the forecast was for the wind to continue into today,” Arbroath chairman Mike Caird told Courier Sport.

“It looked to be getting better later in the afternoon but might have been too late for the game.

Gayfield Park
Gayfield Park

“Between ourselves, Partick Thistle and the SPFL, it was decided, given the circumstances and with our experience at Gayfield, they would grant an early inspection.

“It’s not something they would normally do because of wind. They’d usually wait for the match referee.

“We are very grateful to the SPFL, David Ogilvie and Calum Beattie to allow us an inspection and the referee made the right decision for travelling supporters.”

Referee called it off immediately

Local referee Michael Roncone stepped in to carry out the inspection and it was clear almost instantly that the game could not go ahead.

The Lichties chairman also revealed that Gayfield suffered minor structural damage during the night as winds battered the Angus coast.

Referee Mike Roncone called the game off immediately.
Referee Mike Roncone called the game off immediately.

“Mike took one look and immediately said, at that point, the game was unplayable,” said Caird.

“In everybody’s view the conditions weren’t going to change enough by the time the match referee arrived to reverse Mike’s decision.

“We had a bit of structural damage to the side of the Main Stand due to the wind.

“That got repaired first thing this morning in anticipation of the game going ahead.”

Despite the football being off, that wasn’t enough to stop those booked up in hospitality from enjoying their day out.

The club are still hosting guests but rather than enjoying the game on the field, they will be able to field questions to Dick Campbell’s management team as well as local darts star Alan Soutar.

The SPFL will announce a date for the fixture rearrangement in due course.

Storm Malik LIVE: Updates as 72mph winds batter Tayside and Fife

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