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Monday, 17 February, 2003, 18:32 GMT
Well probe call-off
There was no opportunity for such joy at Fir Park on Saturday
Fir Park witnessed no action on Saturday
Motherwell could have lost about 100,000 because someone forgot to switch on their pitch protection system the day before Saturday's postponed match against Celtic.

The Scottish Premier League club have launched an internal investigation into why a frozen pitch cost them live television money.

It was one of three SPL matches to be postponed, with Dundee blaming a late dip in temperature after taking off their covers and Kilmarnock's undersoil heating sytem failing to work beneath five degrees below zero.

The SPL board will consider the matter later in the week and could fine the three clubs if it is decided that they breached league rules.

We did everything right

Dundee operations manager Jim Thomson
And a Motherwell spokesman told BBC Scotland that they were treating the matter so seriously that they had launched their own internal probe into why their hot air covers were not switched on 24 hours before the match.

Motherwell would have earned 60,000 from live television coverage and still had to pay up to 40,000 for security and policing.

Dundee have a similar system to Motherwell, but operations manager Jim Thomson insisted: "We did everything right.

"This system of protection takes a lot of work and, to put all that effort in then to find out that the game could not go on, we were gutted."

He explained that the covers were only removed on Saturday morning once the temperature started to rise.

"But, when the sun moved round, the stand started to cast a shadow over part of the ground and the temperature difference was such that it started to freeze," said Thomson.

"We put sand down, but it did not make enough of an impression."

Dundee had put the idea of installing undersoil heating on hold until a decision was made about Scotland's bid to host Euro 2008, which could have led to a new stadium for the city.

That bid failed, but there is still a possibility that Dundee and neighbours Dundee United could continue with the stadium plan drawn up as part of Scotland's submission.

"I cannot see the directors making such a large investment in undersoil heating while there is still uncertainty about whether we are staying at Dens Park or moving," added Thomson.

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock have re-arranged their postponed match against Partick Thistle for Sunday 25 February with a 1500 GMT kick off.

Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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