Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The number of abandoned ties throughout the UK in recent weeks has been surprisingly growing.

Whether it be for waterlogged pitches, snow or fog, to have your team's match abandoned at any point during the 90 minutes is a tough call to stomach, especially if you've travelled significantly to get there - not to mention if your team is winning!

The row rumbling on between Dundee United and Rangers at the moment, over their abandoned game on November 1st, has seen a rise in the verbal hostilities but has left both sets of fans stuck in the middle.

The game was rightly abandoned at half time, with the pitch in a shocking state and the ball not moving freely. At the time, there were little complaints, even though Rangers were winning 1-0.

With the match now being played again next Tuesday, and taking on increased significance in the SPL standings, the big question now is whether fans at the original game should be asked to shell out again to watch the second attempt at playing the match.

Dundee United are charging half price admission, to cover the administration costs of putting the match back on (costs such as policing, stewarding and other matchday staff). Rangers are adamant that the original agreement was that if fans held on to their original ticket stubs they would get in free.

This is a claim that United refute and they went a stage further and described Rangers Chief Executive Michael Bain's comments about the issue as "disgraceful".

You can see both sides of the argument. Clubs these days are cash starved and policing costs in particular can be crippling to some clubs. On the other hand, fans are equally cash starved in these recession hit times, especially coming up to Christmas, and those having to travel to Tannadice for a second time are already out of pocket for additional travelling expenses.

There is no easy solution and we feel that by charging half price admission then you have the best compromise available. For all Rangers huffing and puffing and what feels like token gestures and a stance to please their fans, it would have been interesting to see what the Glasgow side would have done in the same circumstances.

United will probably still take a hit as there is unlikely to be a capacity attendance and the fans will at least save a little, but as usual, the fans are caught in the crossfire and will still be out of pocket by the end of it.

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