Philippe Clement has accused Dundee secretary Eric Drysdale of showing a lack of respect to his club and the Rangers fans with his attempt to blame the problems with the Dens Park pitch on climate change, and says that players and managers may be put off coming to Scotland if such a fiasco is allowed to happen again.

Clement relayed a story about meeting a young Rangers fan who was in tears in the team hotel in St Andrews after his side’s match at Dens Park was called off for a second time, with the young supporter’s family having travelled up from Wales for both postponed matches.

He was consoled by the Rangers manager and players, but Clement was not impressed when Drysdale added insult to injury by attributing the call-offs to increased rainfall in the area, when there is a perfectly playable pitch across the road at Tannadice.

“It hurts me when I see a small boy cry,” Clement said. “That hurts me, because it was coming from deep. Then I get frustrated when I see people talk about climate change. Yet in the same street, there’s a nice, green pitch.

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“For me, it’s showing no respect to these fans when you start to say things like that. That annoyed me. Because it’s showing a lack of respect for people. When someone says that? I hope they don’t really think it - because that would make it even worse. I think about the small boy at the hotel. And it’s not just him, he’s the one I saw. There are so many fans travelling from all over Britain to see the game.

“This is now 2024 and all over Europe this doesn’t happen. Find me one team who have had five games postponed [in one season] because of the weather. I’ve never seen one in my life.

"A lot of people are spending their last penny on football because it’s their life. I know that because I’ve seen it at other clubs and with Rangers it’s definitely the case. That’s why I say we’ll play anywhere, it’s for the fans.”

Clement is hoping that the match against Dundee can finally go ahead at the third attempt on Wednesday night, and that the worst-case scenario of moving the game to another venue and perhaps even playing behind closed doors can be avoided.

“Of course, we want them there,” he said. “But I also want them to know what’s happening before, so they can plan things. “People took a day off work to travel to the game on Wednesday, so they’re losing money out of that.

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"Families were in the same hotel as us and spent a lot of money for nothing. I spoke to them. I told all the boys to get pictures with the children.”

Clement insists that he retains a positive impression of Scottish football overall since arriving in the country six months ago, but he thinks that other managers or even players may be harder to attract to the league in the future if a scenario like the one surrounding Dundee’s pitch is allowed to unfold again.

“If these things come back, yes,” he said. “You don’t want this story about the pitch to be a normal thing. If everybody says, ‘ok guys, it’s normal. You go to Dundee two times, but you cannot play because the pitch is under water, although you trained a little bit’. You don’t want that.

“There’s no difference between foreign people or Scottish people. If this is the normal thing and you can go to the Premier League or League One or the second League in Belgium, for example, then you go there if you know you can do your job in a normal way. So, I think for everybody it is really clear. This situation cannot happen again in the future. Nobody wants this. I know also people in the federation wants this.

“It is something that has happened and now it needs to be very clear to find solutions — how can you avoid this ever happening again? I love Scottish football, really. I love to be here. I think that, in moments, Scottish people speak too negatively about Scottish football and the things around it.

“It is the same as English people do, French people do, other people do — it’s a habit of everyone thinking they don’t do it good and the sun shines somewhere else. That’s not the case.

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“There are a lot of positive things here about Scottish football. One thing is the passion of the people for football. The passion of the fans for football, the passion of the managers for football, the passion of the players for football. It’s really great to see.

“I still have a really positive impression of Scottish football, but we need in the future to play it on good surfaces. That would benefit Scottish football to let it grow.”