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7:38:31 PM
Fixture worries grow for Rangers
Fixture worries grow for Rangers
The Ibrox pitch was waterlogged
Sunday's game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch
Rangers' fixture backlog is growing after the Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against East Stirlingshire was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

The tie will now be played on 23 January, meaning the Old Firm game will have to be moved for a second time.

Walter Smith's side have only one free midweek before March due to league and Uefa Cup commitments.

SPL secretary Iain Blair said: "We would like to get the whole thing sorted out as soon as possible."

Torrential rainfall overnight and on Sunday morning led to Sunday's match being postponed.

The cup game at Ibrox has been rescheduled for Wednesday 23 January, adding to Rangers' fixture woes.

SPL secretary Iain Blair
Rangers and Celtic are both heavily involved in a number of competitions - it's challenging to fit everything in
SPL secretary Iain Blair

Celtic were due to host Rangers on 2 January, but the game was postponed as a mark of respect for the late Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell.

A date has yet to be finalised for the top of the table clash.

Rangers' league game against St Mirren last Tuesday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and the SPL admitted the fixture pile-up was a concern.

"We are going to look at it first thing on Monday and see what we can do," Blair said.

"Obviously there is serious fixture congestion involving Rangers at the moment.

"Rangers and Celtic are both heavily involved in a number of competitions. It's quite challenging to fit everything in."

The Ibrox club face Gretna at Fir Park on 16 January, before a trip to face Inverness on 20 January, then a home match against St Mirren on 26 January and a CIS Cup semi-final against Hearts on the 30th.

Rangers are due to face Celtic at Ibrox on SPL duty on 29 March and it is unclear whether there will be two Old Firm games in quick succession.

The Ibrox club said: "Free midweeks are few and far between due to the club's European commitments."

A statement on Celtic's official website read: "Celtic is naturally disappointed that the game with Rangers has been called off and sympathises with supporters over this postponement, which is obviously due to circumstances outwith the club's control."
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