PARTICK THISTLE and their manager Alan Archibald have hit out at the SPFL over the last-minute call to play yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Tynecastle.

The game with Hearts was only given the green light at 8am on the morning of the game after a safety check cleared the Edinburgh club’s new main stand to finally be open for business despite not being finished.

It prompted Thistle to release a statement calling for an ‘extensive review’ by the SPFL into the circumstances of why the decision on whether the game could proceed or not was left so late, with Archibald throwing his weight behind the appeal after his team silenced the 17000 in attendance.

“Of course I totally back the statement,” he said. “It wouldn’t have happened had Rangers been coming here, would it?

“Let’s be honest - and that’s not a wee club mentality, but more to do with the traffic and personnel that would have been coming. They wouldn’t have allowed it to go to the last minute.

“It would have been better to have shown more common sense, rather than Hearts having to do the work they had to do to get the game on. They were rushing about when we could have a date on Tuesday or Wednesday just as we do with Scottish Cup replays. That date is always proposed before the game.”

Fears began to grow during the week that the new £12million structure would not be granted a temporary occupation certificate, with confirmation of that only arriving after 9pm on Saturday night.

Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes yesterday due to queues outside the Wheatfield Stand opposite while huge internal work remained uncompleted inside the main stand’s corridors, lounges and facilities.

“It is unacceptable that there was uncertainty about whether a top-flight game would go ahead less than 18 hour before kick-off,” said the Firhill statement pre-match.

“It is not right to treat players, staff and, most importantly, the supporters of both clubs in this way. It is a situation that never should have been allowed to develop – and it must not happen to any club in future.

“On Monday, we will be asking the SPFL for an extensive review into the circumstances that allowed this situation to arise. Specifically, we will be asking why it was allowed to continue to such a late stage, damaging Scottish football at a time when we are all working hard to attract new fans.”

Ann Budge, the Hearts owner, responded to Thistle’s statement by defending the decision not to postpone the game when it became clear that Hearts faced a race against the clock to get their new stand up to the mark.

“From my perspective I reckoned it was important to all the fans – the Hearts fans and the Partick fans – it was important to both clubs, both teams, that we really go for it,” she said.

“I felt I had a duty to really push it to the wire to try and get this game on because so many people would have had different problems.

“And the other thing is, despite what you may have read in the press or wherever, I was in constant touch with Partick Thistle.

“I have been in daily touch with the SPFL, everyone has known what’s been going on, I’ve been keeping them informed.

“So I know certain supporters will have been frustrated, but we were really doing it because we felt it was the right thing to do.

“The easy option for me would have been to say on Monday or Wednesday, ‘this is too difficult let’s just postpone the game’.”