Hearts eye recompense for Ross County call-off

The Victoria Park groundskeepers try to prevent the game from being abandoned
The Victoria Park groundskeepers try to prevent the game from being abandoned
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HEARTS are set to demand compensation from Ross County after the late call-off which cost the cash-strapped Tynecastle outfit thousands of pounds.

The club and its supporters were left out of pocket after staying overnight in the Highlands ahead of their SPL clash with Derek Adams’ side, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon.

However, after heavy rainfall across the country, referee Iain Brines declared Victoria Park unplayable less than an hour before kick-off.

The decision left around 800 fans, who had travelled for more than three hours to be at the game, furious and the club itself is believed to have shelled out around £4000 in accommodation for its group of 30 players and backroom staff.

Tynecastle officials are now looking at SPL rules and the possibility of some financial recompense.

Hearts managing director David Southern believed that 95 per cent of the pitch was in “excellent” condition and admitted he was bitterly disappointed both at the decision and the lateness of the call-off.

Southern said: “We have seen games go ahead in far worse circumstances and we are very, very disappointed to say the least.

“My understanding is that the referee arrived at the ground between one o’clock and half past one.

“Given the rain that had fallen across the country, would it not have been more prudent for the referee to have been here mid-morning or early morning?

“A number of fans, not just Hearts fans but Ross County fans, travelled from far and wide.

“We have supporters clubs in Manchester, Leeds, York and London that travel for this game and it does defy belief in some ways that we can actually have a game in the most northerly point of professional league football called off just one hour before kick-off.

“I actually travelled to the game with a person I know from Australia, who travelled from Brisbane to watch Hearts over the festive period and chose this game particularly.

“Looking at the pitch it is just utter disappointment that we couldn’t put the game on.”