SPL puts fans' safety first in postponing Saturday ties

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The Independent Football

All six Scottish Premier League matches scheduled for this Saturday have been postponed as a result of adverse weather, the SPL announced yesterday.

Aberdeen were due to host Celtic at midday, with Hibernian-St Mirren, Inverness-Dundee United, Motherwell-Kilmarnock, Rangers-Heart of Midlothian and St Johnstone-Hamilton the other fixtures.

An SPL statement read: "In light of the severe weather conditions, which are forecast to continue for some time, all Clydesdale Bank Premier League games have been postponed this Saturday, 4 December. It is hoped that this early notice of postponement, while disappointing, will allow everyone to plan accordingly. New dates for the fixtures will be announced in due course."

Last weekend's referees' strike meant four SPL matches were completed with foreign officials on Saturday, with two more postponed on Sunday on account of the weather.

Blizzards have continued into this week, with a severe weather warning across much of the country. And with the inclement weather showing no sign of abating – forecasters in fact expect temperatures to plummet further – the SPL has taken the decision to postpone all fixtures with more than 48 hours' notice.

Undersoil heating meant many of the playing surfaces could have been playable on Saturday, but the health and safety of supporters was the reason behind the decision.

The SPL postponements follow the earlier postponement of the First Division clash between Dunfermline and Partick Thistle and the Third Division meeting between Berwick Rangers and East Stirling.

Further fixtures are certain to follow, with the SFL programme poised to be decimated once more.