Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is angry and disappointed with the eight players who plunged the club into a Covid-19 crisis.
Those eight players visited an Aberdeen city centre bar on Saturday following the disappointing 1-0 loss to Rangers in the SPFL Premiership opener.
Their actions were in breach of SFA, SPFL and Scottish Government protocol for the safe return of football.
Two of the players subsequently tested positive for the virus, with the other six also forced to go into self-isolation for 14 days.
Following an emergency meeting with football authorities and the Scottish Government, today’s scheduled clash at St Johnstone was axed.
Aberdeen dodged forfeiting the match, which has now been rescheduled for Thursday August 20.
As it stands, the games against Hamilton at Pittodrie on Wednesday and Celtic at Parkhead next Saturday will go ahead.
Scotland’s First Minister condemned the Dons for a “completely unacceptable” breach of rules.
McInnes said: “We’re all angry, we’re all disappointed. Everyone connected to the club, whether it’s the supporters, the board, myself, the staff, the players, we’re all extremely disappointed and angered at finding ourselves in this situation.
“I understand everybody’s frustrations at the minute.
“There’s a far bigger picture in Aberdeen at the minute.
“We’ve broken protocols and we’ve now put the club at risk. “
The eight Aberdeen players now forced into self-isolation visited a bar at the weekend which has subsequently been linked to a cluster of Covid-19 cases – the city has been placed back into a strict lockdown as a result of the spike.
A total of 101 cases related to the cluster were confirmed as of yesterday, with the number expected to rise.
McInnes insists the players all regret their actions.
Aberdeen cannot name those involved due to medical confidentiality.
However, their identities will become apparent when the team is announced to face Hamilton on Wednesday.
Today’s game in Perth was initially given the go-ahead following a meeting of the SFA and SPFL Joint Response Group on Thursday.
However, the Scottish Government intervened yesterday to force a late U-turn and postponement.
McInnes had to abandon training on Wednesday following the first positive result, which was subsequently confirmed by an NHS follow-up test.
He said: “Having spoken to all the lads, they all take full responsibility. They have made a real error of judgement.
“The four-household rule is clear and I think that is where they fall short and are guilty.
“What they have said to me was, because they felt they were in their own bubble here and tested negative and had been in the changing room and all the rest of it, that hadn’t even crossed their minds.
“I think it’s that educational part of it – you see a lot of that more than four households out and about.
“But for us to protect our bubble, our players need to be far more aware of their responsibility when they are out.
“They went out for dinner. And they are guilty of a real bad decision.”
Aberdeen launched an immediate investigation when the positive results were returned.
McInnes will now have to field a decimated squad against Hamilton and champions Celtic.
He said: “We have to deal with that as a club. The fallout from this has impacted on fixtures, my selection, not having players available for the next few games.
“It’s not helpful.”
Pre-pandemic, the Dons would have had no problem with players going out for a meal.
However, McInnes admits under any circumstance he would not go out after losing a match at home to Rangers.
He said: “The bit for me that makes it even more of an issue is that they then go after dinner into a pub for half an hour or so – there were no intentions to go out partying.
“Only a couple of them had a glass of wine with their food, but the majority were driving and not drinking because they had training the next day.
“I think they have been really foolish in the fact we have lost an important game to Rangers and we have all been at Aberdeen long enough to know you don’t go over the door if you lose a game. In terms of breaking rules, there’s not a club in the land that would discipline their players for going out for dinner in normal circumstances.
“For me that’s where, despite having the right intentions, they have broken the protocol rules.
“As a consequence, they have put themselves at an additional risk and our bubble at risk we have worked so hard to protect.
“They are full of remorse and well aware of the consequences of their actions.”