FOR armchair fans hoping for a full-blooded encounter in the foothills of Scottish football’s top tier, it was more than they had bargained for.
Spectators looking forward to teatime coverage of a Scottish Premiership game were forced to wait until after the watershed due to the colourful language of spectators.
BBC Alba was to show the encounter between Ross County and St Mirren early on Saturday evening, but producers decided to postpone the programme amid fears they would be in breach of TV watchdog rules.
The game had been due to air at 5:30pm, shortly after the final whistle at Dingwall’s Global Energy Stadium. However, after staff realised fans’ cursing could be heard from microphones around the pitch, they moved transmission to 10:55pm.
Margot McCuaig, managing director of mneTV, which was producing the programme from the BBC’s Gaelic language channel, took to social media site Twitter to inform viewers of the late scheduling change.
“Unfortunately @TheStaggies v @saintmirrenfc won’t transmit on #BBCALBA at 5:30pm due to bad language from crowd,” she wrote. “Will be on at 11pm. Sorry!” The tweet was subsequently retweeted more than 150 times by bemused fans.
BBC Alba also retweeted the message to viewers. A spokeswoman later explained the delay to the transmission had allowed producers additional time to edit out the bad language.
She added: “In compliance with the rules set by Ofcom, where no programme that carries offensive language can be broadcast pre-watershed, BBC Alba had no choice but to defer broadcast of the Ross County v St Mirren match until post-watershed due to bad language picked up from the crowds.”
More than 3,000 fans attended the game, which Ross County won 2-1. Ross County manager Derek Adams and his St Mirren counterpart Danny Lennon had to be pulled apart after confronting one another on the touchline as tempers frayed. They were both sent to the stand by referee Willie Collum.
Ross County puts out announcements before each home game warning fans of both sides to mind their language. However, a spokesman said it would not be appropriate to comment.
Tempers flared during the game when St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin appeared to catch Ross County’s Filip Kiss with an arm, a clash that left the Slovakian requiring medical treatment.
The captain of the Paisley side was later involved in an altercation with Melvin De Leeuw, which sparked the angered exchange in the dugout area.
After the game, both managers said they had let emotions get the better of them.
Lennon told reporters: “It’s a passionate game. Derek wants the best for his side, I want the best for mine, nothing more than that. I’m actually disappointed in myself to be sucked into that,”
Adams said: “It was a big game for both sides and emotions ran high. But Danny and I had a cup of tea and coffee afterwards and there is not a problem.”