I must admit, there may be something of a personal agenda at play as I prepare here to rip into the manner by which the match between Dundee and Rangers was postponed at the weekend. Myself and two colleagues had just turned onto Tannadice Street around half 10 on Sunday morning when the notification popped up on my phone that the match had been called off.

It was though, only a mild inconvenience really for those of us in the media supposed to be working at the game. The two managers were kind enough, or perhaps angry enough, to give us a few minutes of their time. Dundee managing director John Nelms was too, though that was more in a reputational damage limitation capacity.

Most interesting, though, were the comments of match referee Don Robertson, which I will get to shortly.

But all in all, petrol money is covered on expenses, and I was down the road to relieve the babysitters much earlier than expected. For the fans who had forked out to travel to Dundee only to be turned away at the gates though, it isn’t quite as easy to be so philosophical about the experience.

READ MORE: Don Robertson explains Dundee vs Rangers postponement

For one, their petrol money, train fares or bus fees will not be refunded. And having bought their ticket, they will now face the prospect of paying for the journey all over again on the rescheduled date of the fixture.

What’s more, that will be on a weeknight, meaning the further inconvenience of having to take time off work for many, while arriving back home some time around midnight ahead of their shifts the following day.

As usual, it seems, it is the match going punters who are the last consideration, with the failure to call off the game earlier in the day no doubt the result of pressure – even indirectly – of the Sky cameras being at Dens Park.

How is it in this day and age, and at such a critical juncture of the season, that the primary inspection of the playing surface is carried out by whichever qualified referee lives closest to the ground, no matter their grade?

For one of the most important matches of the season for both Dundee and Rangers, the official who was charged with making the call on whether or not it was to go ahead was local ref Craig Fordyce.

Giving Fordyce the benefit of the doubt, perhaps his decision to absolve himself of the responsibility of making such a huge call was rooted in the best intentions, and a belief that the hard-pressed Dens Park ground staff could perform a miracle in the hour before his more senior colleague Robertson rocked up. Maybe.

When Robertson did appear though, he knew instantly that the match had no chance of going ahead. He told us: “When I inspected the pitch there, it was quite clear that it wasn’t in a playable condition. The ball wasn’t bouncing, and there were a couple of areas of concern in front of the dugout and in the top penalty area.

“The ground staff have done a lot of work to be fair to them, but the ball is not bouncing at all in some of those areas, it wasn’t rolling, the conditions underfoot were dangerous for the players.

“So, it’s quite a simple decision after that.”

A simple decision. And yet, it took until a little over an hour and a half before kick-off for someone to declare it and relay it publicly. Unfortunately, by then, thousands of fans had already left for the game, while hundreds had already arrived and were milling around outside the stadium.

The process is shambolic, amateurish and needs reviewed. There shouldn’t be any doubt about the viability of a pitch less than two hours before the scheduled kick off time, and someone with the seniority, or frankly, the balls to make such a decision should be on site well before Robertson made it to Dens Park.

You had to feel for the Dundee ground staff and the volunteers who were at the stadium from 5am on Sunday trying desperately to get the game on. They have been hung out to dry, if you’ll pardon the expression, by decisions taken above their heads.

There have now been four postponements due to rain at Dens Park this season. The drainage issues the pitch has are hardly new. In fact, I was at the ground on the opening day of the season – in August – when there was doubt around Dundee’s match against Motherwell right up until the last minute following heavy rainfall.

So, the insistence of Nelms that ‘the pitch is fine’ is either delusional, or the managing director is engaging in a spot of gaslighting that a portly compatriot of his with a fondness for wearing a red baseball cap would be proud of. Though, that particular gentleman looks more like a Tangerine, mind you.

READ MORE: Nelms defends Dundee pitch and staff after Rangers call off

The American is currently trying to get Dundee supporters and the city itself excited about the future, with a state-of-the-art new stadium in the pipeline. But he is neglecting the present.

Swingeing budget cuts have led to the once pristine Dens Park playing surface deteriorating to this point. It was the long-standing ground staff who paid with their jobs earlier in the campaign following late postponements against St Johnstone and Aberdeen, but Nelms must realise now that significant investment has to be made into the maintenance of the current pitch over the summer.

That will be more difficult given the money that has been lost to these call-offs, with Nelms himself conceding that Sunday’s postponement would result in a five-figure loss at the very least. Times that by four, and there is a significant sum that could have been invested in the upkeep of Dens Park.

The SPFL are also reportedly set to ‘hammer’ the club for the frequency of these postponements, so the cutbacks to the pitch maintenance budget have proven quite the false economy.

Nelms has to sort out his own patch, and the game’s governing bodies have to sort out the pitch inspection process. Otherwise, travelling fans will continue to be shafted, and Dundee’s reputation - and bank balance - will continue to be hit hard.