This piece is an extract from yesterday's Dens Dispatch newsletter, which is emailed out at 6pm every Tuesday.

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Of all the unexpected areas of expertise Scottish football leads you to pick up, water tables and soil drainage really take the biscuit. As is often the case with Dundee Football Club, though, you have to learn to expect the unexpected - or, in this case, the all too predictable.

For the fourth - FOURTH - time this season, a fixture at Dens has been called off following a pitch inspection. If I asked you to guess whether I was typing this on a phone, laptop or desktop, you'd have roughly the same odds of guessing correctly as a Dundee home fixture has had this season of ending with a forlorn referee chucking a ball into a localised swamp.

The knee-jerk reaction most fans have - myself included - is to defend the club, come hell or 12mm of water (whichever gets the game called off first). Sunday's disappointment was tempered by the opportunity to watch Rangers and their fans enter a tantrum my toddler would be proud of, hotly insisting that thousands of their fans were at the stadium two hours before kick off (they weren't) and that it brought the game into disrepute (maybe, but no less than the away team turning up 45 minutes late for kick off earlier this season before their fans nearly set the stadium on fire with pyro and delayed the game another 15 minutes. Care to guess who that was?) Claim and counter-claim have already begun to swirl around about a mooted delayed kick-off being kicked into touch by Rangers or by the league, which has now launched an investigation into the sorry saga.

Strip away the hypocrisy, huffy statements and humour bypasses, though, and it's hard to deny that Rangers - and the wider football community - has a point. 12mm of rain overnight is hardly a torrential downpour, yet Dens resembled an irrigated field on Sunday morning. Regardless of whether solutions and delays were proposed, the blame can only lie with the investment - or lack thereof - in the playing surface at Dens, which was one of the most pristine in Scotland in the not-too-distant past. One social media user proudly proclaimed that the Dundee groundsmen could get a game on in Atlantis; that these problems have arisen since that boast was made has not escaped my attention.

What has happened in recent years to the pitch is both beyond my ken and potentially the result of a number of factors. However, some key factors are widely accepted, confirmed or suspected. There has been a knotty drainage issue in the immediate environs of Dens for which an apparent fix was made in front of the Derry this season. However, this fix does not seem to be enough to overcome whatever else may be going on that means even a moderate downpour can bring a game into question. Coupled with the club's transparency about the costs of maintaining Dens, the ambitious aim of a new stadium not yet in receipt of planning permission being built for the 2025/26 season, and the clear deterioration of the fabric of the stadium even over the last few years, and you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to infer that a conscious choice has been taken to defer sinking substantial money into a creaking stadium in the hope and belief that a new, less problematic home will be ready in due course.

However, as this season has shown, this approach is the mother of false economies. The club itself has estimated that the postponed festive fixture against Aberdeen cost the club six figures of revenue. Extrapolated across the four rescheduled fixtures and applying a little bit of conservatism on the calculations and it's fair to say that the pitch issues have probably cost Dundee at least £250,000 - the equivalent of two league places of prize money, several first team players' wages, or around a third of the upkeep bill at Dens as it is. It is a gamble that has not paid off, and that's before the SPFL conduct their own investigation into Sunday's debacle with the potential for fines to be handed down. Even worse, it robbed Dundee of a chance to build on the midweek momentum gained against Aberdeen and take something off a Rangers side not short of injury woes and other recriminations following back to back defeats to Motherwell and Benfica. A midweek slot will now need to be identified at the business end of the season, with the concomitant concerns around our own injury woes and unnecessary backlog arising as a result.

Whatever it is that's going on under the surface at Dens needs laid out and sorted out. It's not fair on our own fans, or on a side that deserved a chance to put its silky skills on display to a watching telly audience for only the second time this season. If the work required is significant and wide-reaching and goes beyond matters under the club's control, then perhaps advertising that fact publicly will help both our own case and that being made for the new stadium. In the meantime, I'm left hoping that Scotland's sunniest city lives up to its promise for the foreseeable future.