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Hearts plan County compensation claim

HEARTS look certain to demand compensation from Ross County after their weekend Clydesdale Bank Premier League match was called off at the last minute.

Hearts manager John McGlynn alongside the sodden County pitch on Saturday. Picture: SNS
Hearts manager John McGlynn alongside the sodden County pitch on Saturday. Picture: SNS

The cash-strapped Tynecastle club ran up a hotel bill estimated at £4000 after staying overnight in the Highlands to avoid potential travel difficulties.

However, the expense was wasted when referee Iain Brines declared the Dingwall ground unplayable less than an hour before Saturday's scheduled 3pm kick-off.

Around 800 Hearts fans were also left heavily out of pocket.

County stand accused of failing to act promptly and alert club officials and supporters' groups that there was a threat to the game.

Tynecastle officials were yesterday studying SPL rules with regard to a possible compensation claim after a group of around 30 players and staff travelled north.

John McGlynn was furious that County had not alerted any of the Hearts party to potential problems much earlier.

Asked if his club should seek compensation for the late call-off, the Hearts manager replied: "That's for the football club to decide. I'm a football man. I'm looking at football and I'm disappointed that I've taken my players up to play a game, and I think the game could have been played.

"It is for the directors to worry about compensation or whatever else. It has cost the club money, of course it has.

"That's for them to fight. I'm disappointed we didn't get to play a game.

"We've played in worse conditions than that before, of course we have. I wasn't surprised because we knew there was a possibility of it happening but I was disappointed and, to some extent angry, at the fact there didn't seem to be recognition of a problem here.

"Why didn't anyone notify us that there could be a problem? My kitman was here and nobody from Ross County officially notified Hearts to tell us there was a problem.

"Normally you are looking at problems with frost and snow, but everyone knows there has been that much rain this year that the flood levels are quite bad.

"I understand that and I know the history of this pitch.

"Morton came up here three times last year. They came for a Saturday and it was called off, then a midweek and it was also called off.

"The season before that, Dunfermline came up here and had a Saturday and midweek called off.

"I have sympathy with the referee. I think we should have had notification that there was a problem with the pitch."

The game is now expected to be played either on February 2 or March 2, given that both clubs are out of the Scottish Cup.

Meanwhile, McGlynn also took time to make special mention of the late club servant Dr Dewar Melvin, who passed away on Friday night.

Dr Melvin had retired in February after 32 years' service as club doctor at Tynecastle.

McGlynn said: "I'd like to pass my condolences on to the wife and family of Dr Melvin. Our thoughts are with his family."

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