Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Blackpool game frozen out

Sir Alex Ferguson

Blackpool's televised Barclays Premier League match against Manchester United is the most high profile casualty of the freezing conditions.

Saturday's match has been postponed because of a frozen pitch at Bloomfield Road.

It was the only Premier League game to fall victim to the icy weather which has ravaged this weekend's Football League programme and has led to the postponement of a host of other sporting fixtures.

Temperatures dipped below minus eight last night meaning Blackpool's attempts to make the pitch playable, using protective covering and hot-air blowers, were in vain.

The match was officially called off on Friday afternoon after referee Peter Walton carried out an inspection.

A statement on the club's website, www.blackpoolfc.co.uk, read: "Mr Walton expressed concern that the severely affected areas of the playing surface would not thaw sufficiently for the game to be completed."

The Seasiders revealed their ground staff had worked throughout the night in a bid to make the pitch playable, but Thursday night's frost saw the problematic areas on the surface increase.

Leaders QPR's trip to Hull headed the list of postponements in the npower Championship.

The clash was cancelled on safety grounds by the Tigers, meaning the match went the same way as Nottingham Forest v Bristol City and Portsmouth v Burnley. The South Yorkshire derby between Doncaster and Barnsley fell on Thursday, as did Reading's trip to Sheffield United

The weather hit hard in the lower divisions, with only three League One matches - those at Swindon, Exeter and Bristol Rovers - surviving, and just two - at Northampton and Oxford - in League Two.

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