County offer Hearts fans free travel for Dingwall return

Roy MacGregor of Ross County. Picture:  Ian Rutherford
Roy MacGregor of Ross County. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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ROY MacGregor last night offered an olive branch to angry Hearts supporters after yesterday’s late postponement in Dingwall. The Ross County chairman promised to lay on free buses for the estimated 800 fans who journeyed to the Highlands in vain.

MacGregor, a wealthy entrepreneur who heads the multi-national Global group of companies, made the gesture despite County suffering heavy losses from hospitality sales and other sources of income.

The County major shareholder, pictured, said: “It is very costly for [our] club. I’m really disappointed. But I’ve offered to pay for the Hearts supporters to come back up here, free of charge, for the rescheduled match.

“We are both out of the Scottish Cup so we have offered them 2 February or 2 March. Both are Saturday dates, which should be easier for the Hearts supporters.

“There were probably 800 today, so it is disappointing for them and for us. We were just about sold out ourselves. So it is really disappointing for our supporters.

“It is holiday time, they are looking forward to a game and to lose it is not easy. It is difficult to say what the cost to us would be – three points maybe! But you are talking tens of thousands of pounds. There were 400 people eating here today so hospitality is difficult.”

MacGregor also laid on free buses for Motherwell for the first game of the season in Dingwall. The County chairman admitted there had been concerns as early as Friday night over the state of the pitch.

MacGregor said: “We had a concern over an area of the surface where water was lying, but we had work carried out and it was fine. But this near-side of the pitch is very wet and we had a real downpour this morning from about 10 until 12.30.

While MacGregor felt referee Iain Brines had made the easy and safe decision, he was unsure whether it was the right one.

The chairman added: “You would need to ask the referee. If he is worried and concerned about the safety of players, it is the same for both sides.

“Naturally, in the heat of the moment everyone is a bit uptight but maybe tomorrow morning we will all look back and say, if there was a danger to players probably it was the right decision. He has got to go by what he sees and feels.”