Club chief executive Leeann Dempster put the price of the call-off at between “£35,000 and £40,000” but described that as an “irrelevance” when set against the fact that Wishaw General Hospital was without electricity after the problems with the ScottishPower grid that occurred at 2.50pm.
Although power was restored within an hour, Motherwell were left with no option but to abandon the game with a new date still to be set.
“We took five minutes to get ‘match abandoned’ tickets ready so the supporters had proof of entry so they can come back or get a refund,” said Dempster. “We then made the announcement [at 3.10pm] and most people think we don’t know how to run a game here, because it’s happened twice now [a generator problem inside Fir Park caused the abandonment of a game against Hibernian last December]. This is outwith our control, though.”
Police confirmed the fault was underground in the Motherwell area and ScottishPower offered an “apology for any inconvenience caused”.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall made light of the situation. “You’ve got to take the positives,” he said. “It’s a clean sheet and we’ve not had one of them for a while. We don’t have a date for the game but we want to have it before [Dundee United winger Gary] Mackay-Steven is fit, but don’t tell Peter [Houston].”
Houston, the United manager, said: “First and foremost there is nobody to blame here, certainly not Motherwell. It is very disappointing because during the course of the last six days when we have been doing double session in training after our horrendous performance [in losing 4-0 to Inverness Caledonian Thistle] you could sense the players were together.”
SPL delegate Willie McDougall praised Motherwell’s handling of the situation.