Gus MacPherson has branded Rangers manager Michael Beale "unprofessional" for his comments regarding St Johnstone's pitch.

The Ibrox boss slated the McDiarmid Park surface after last month's Scottish Cup match as he aimed a "cow-field" dig at the Perth club.

Head of football operations MacPherson agrees the pitch is far from ideal, but he feels the comments from Beale were out of order.

He explained: “There was a lot of criticism from the Rangers side after the game here.

“Personally, I thought that was very unprofessional — and I did remark on that the following week when we played them at Ibrox.

“It’s impossible to improve it at this time of the year.

“It’s a basic fact that there is no growth from about November to March.

“You might see a slight difference after that, but it won’t be until the summer that you see a proper improvement.

“The pitch is what it is. For a number of years, there hasn’t been a maintenance programme.

“The club hasn’t had the time to do it for a variety of reasons — European football and then the play-offs being two reasons.

“Celtic at home was one of my first games here and it was early November. Even at that point you could see it kicking out.

“We knew it was going to be an issue by January.

“We’ve tried to protect it as long as we could. There’s nobody to blame.

“The adverse weather has been a big factor. It needs work done to it, it’s as simple as that, that will happen in the summer.“We’re already in that process to get our slot.

“This is a small country, virtually everybody’s in the same boat. I think there are only two contractors.”

After Rangers' win against Saints in the Scottish Cup, Beale slated the Perth surface along with the national stadium, saying: “We certainly didn’t need three games in six days on two cow fields.”

MacPherson also admits mistakes were made regarding ticket prices and allocations for the fixture.

Saints handed three stands over to the visitors and prices were hiked to £30 for adults and £20 for concessions.

As a result St Johnstone fans boycotted the fixture and MacPherson admits the reaction was an "eye-opener".

He told Saints TV: "That was an eye-opener for myself. The passion that was shown by supporters through events building up to the cup tie and on the day.

"I think it is fair to say that everyone in the football department and upper management realise mistakes were made and said so.

"In future we take that on the chin and we learn from it. We also appreciate the importance of the fans.

"During lockdown we didn't have fans in the stadiums but now we have them back, we have to listen to them and make sure we are understanding of them.

"I have seen the supporters and the passion they bring in the short time that I have been here. The game that I won't forget is the Friday night at Easter Road.

"The atmosphere that night was fantastic and that is what we have to remember, how important they are. We don't patronise them, we listen to them.

"They also have to see from our side of it there are hard decisions that have to be made. But if you have a good transparent relationship then it is a workable relationship. I look forward to doing that in the future."