Dundee v Rangers new game date: The limited options available, Celtic clash issue, Sky Sports coverage

After Sunday’s controversial postponement, the next task in finding a slot in the calendar for the rearranged Premiership match

The postponement of Dundee versus Rangers on Sunday has brought with it plenty of controversy and debate – and there is still one live issue to settle: when will the match be rescheduled?

Dens Park was deemed unplayable by match referee Don Robertson less than two hours before kick-off, with Rangers unhappy that the match was called off so close to the noon start time. Dundee, it has emerged, did want to push kick-off back to 3pm, but that request ultimately failed and now the SPFL has the task of finding a new date for the match.

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This is trickier than your average rescheduling. The match cannot be played this month, as we are now in an international break. Rangers are next in action at home to Hibs on Saturday, March 30, while on the same day Dundee travel to St Johnstone. There is therefore only a two-week midweek window in which the game can be played before the league splits after game-week 33 on April 14.

Rangers manager Phillipe Clement walks off the Dens Park surface on Sunday.Rangers manager Phillipe Clement walks off the Dens Park surface on Sunday.
Rangers manager Phillipe Clement walks off the Dens Park surface on Sunday.

There is no doubt that one of the remaining fixtures – Rangers v Celtic on Sunday, April 7 – is going to prove troublesome for schedulers. Rangers are likely to want a full free week to prepare for what will be one of the defining matches in a tight title race, especially as Celtic are inactive. The SPFL could put forward Tuesday, April 2 or Wednesday, April 3 as a date given they are clear for both the Ibrox outfit and Dundee. Thursday, April 4 is out due to Dundee facing Motherwell on April 6. Furthermore, Sky Sports would be able to broadcast the match live, as those dates do not clash with any UEFA Champions League, Europa League or Conference League fixtures.

With Rangers now out of Europe, the following midweek is also an option. The final pre-split fixtures see Dundee travel to Aberdeen on Saturday, April 13, while Rangers are in Dingwall to face Ross County 24 hours later. With the Gers in action on April 7, this means the only date available in that range is Wednesday, April 10. However, with Champions League quarter-finals on TV that night, Sky Sports would likely prefer another date slot.

Given the congested calendar and the upcoming Old Firm match, it is no surprise that Rangers manager Philippe Clement wanted the game played. However, there is much to play for in Dundee, too. Tony Docherty’s men are chasing a top-six place, currently seventh, two points behind Hibs. Their schedule has been affected by postponements and rearranged matches this season, with the Dens Park surface proving troublesome. That final point will be in the minds of league chiefs when trying to find a date. No matter the time of year, this particular patch of grass in Tayside is far from reliable.

League chiefs and representatives from both clubs will be locked in discussions as they attempt to find the best date to reschedule a pivotal match in the Premiership title and top-six race. Celtic and Hibs will watch on with a beady eye as well. Only in Scottish football would such a scenario stir up so much interest.