A FOOTBALL club's preparations for the new season have been hit by the arrival of a family of foxes, it emerged today.
The foxes have been entering Dundee Football Club's Dens Park at night and digging holes around the goalmouths, staff said.
They have also been killing the grass by urinating on the pitch, forcing the club to re-lay areas of turf.
In an effort to deter the predators, groundstaff have erected temporary fences around the goalmouth areas, and pest control have been contacted.
It is thought that the scent of rabbits which previously made their way into the ground may be attracting the foxes.
The Scottish First Division club begin pre-season friendlies later this month, by which time staff say the pitch will be repaired.
Stadium manager Jim Thomson said the goalmouths would continue to be fenced off between matches next season until the foxes can be removed.
He said: "It's been a continuous problem throughout the summer, and we've tried all sorts of things to discourage them.
"We are re-turfing today and that should knit together within a week, so we will be all right for the start of the season.
"We just need to make sure these foxes stay out, and hopefully pest control can do what they need to do."
He added: "We used to have a rabbit problem, but the foxes seem to have solved that. Maybe we need a bigger predator now to deal with the foxes."