Premier League games still on as weekend sporting programme is disrupted by snow
Four second-tier fixtures added to the extensive disruption in lower leagues and Scotland.
Four Sky Bet Championship matches have been postponed in a weekend sporting programme badly affected by snow, while the Premier League is monitoring the situation.
On Friday, Ipswich’s Championship home clash with Hull, Barnsley’s game against Norwich and Cardiff’s trip to Brentford were called off, adding to the postponement of Sheffield United v Burton a day earlier.
Seventeen matches across League One and League Two have also been postponed.
A few more games have now been called off (Doncaster and Crawley) - that means we're down to just 4 in League 1 and 3 in League 2: pic.twitter.com/XvwRoCpRHQ— Ben Mayhew (@experimental361) March 2, 2018
All seven Premier League clubs hosting matches on Saturday were hopeful of their fixtures going ahead, with Southampton confirming their intent to press ahead with their 3pm clash with Stoke.
And a spokesman for the Premier League said it would continue to monitor the situation, keeping in contact with clubs and local authorities.
Southampton said on their official website on Friday afternoon: “Southampton Football Club is anticipating that tomorrow’s Premier League match with Stoke City will proceed as planned.
“The club has been in dialogue with Hampshire Police, Southampton City Council, the Premier League and Stoke about the game, after the heavy snowfall experienced in the region.
“Following continued consultation throughout the day, the club and authorities expect the game to go ahead at its scheduled 3pm GMT kick-off time.
“Should there be a need for any further updates, we will inform supporters as soon as possible via southamptonfc.com and our social channels.”
West Ham boss David Moyes expressed his concern about the roads ahead of his side’s flight to Cardiff for their match against Swansea.
“The Met office are saying people should not travel on the roads, especially around Cardiff and the M4, so that is a concern at the moment,” Moyes said.
“I’m guessing that’s no different for football clubs or supporters. If they are saying don’t travel I think the Premier League would have to consider that.”
West Brom are set to travel by train for their match at Watford.
Albion boss Alan Pardew said: “It’s not an easy weekend for football. Hopefully we can get down there, give a good performance and warm our fans up.”
Watford even offered complimentary match tickets to volunteers answering their call for help to clear Vicarage Road of snow ahead of their top-flight clash with West Brom.
A statement on watfordfc.com on Friday afternoon said: “The Hornets would welcome volunteers at Vicarage Road tomorrow in order to help clear the pitch, stands and walkways of any snow which falls between now and the morning.
“In a similar vein to those who volunteered their time five years ago ahead of a snowy win over Huddersfield Town in January 2013, you can expect to be thanked for your help with a pair of complimentary match tickets, as well as tea and coffee and bacon rolls.”
In League One, only three fixtures remained for Saturday, with AFC Wimbledon v Charlton, Blackpool v Northampton, Bradford v Portsmouth, Doncaster v Bury, Gillingham v Rotherham, Oxford v Fleetwood, Rochdale v Plymouth and Shrewsbury v Peterborough postponed.
There were also just three Saturday games going ahead in League Two, following the postponements of Barnet v Port Vale, Cheltenham v Notts County, Crawley v Wycombe, Crewe v Forest Green, Exeter v Chesterfield, Morecambe v Colchester, Newport v Accrington, Stevenage v Mansfield and Swindon v Yeovil.
There is only one game not to have fallen foul of the weather in the Vanarama National League, Dover’s home clash with Leyton Orient.
While all four Scottish Cup quarter-finals are still set to take place this weekend, all of the Scottish Professional Football League programme is off including Premiership matches at St Johnstone and Ross County.
The Friday night Aviva Premiership match between Harlequins and Bath has been moved to Sunday, as has Exeter v Saracens, which had been scheduled for Saturday, and the only Guinness PRO14 games to have survived the weather are the two taking place in South Africa.
In Super League, three of Friday’s scheduled games have been called off, but Hull v Warrington and Wigan v Widnes are going ahead. Warrington cancelled their official supporters coach to the game following advice from the Highways Agency, coach operators and the Met Office.
⚠️COACH UPDATE: The club supporters' coach has now been cancelled following advice from the highways agency, coach operators and met office. Details on how to claim your refund to follow. pic.twitter.com/VaBHhvbnyX— Warrington Wolves (@wolvesrl) March 2, 2018
Warrington said on their website: “It is expected that trains will still be running across the Pennies to Hull, this being a possible travel option for Warrington supporters still hoping to get to the game. However, fans should check with their train company before travelling.”
Meanwhile, the Coral UK Open darts tournament was taking place at Butlin’s Minehead Resort as planned, but behind closed doors.
A statement from Butlin’s said: “Due to the unprecedented extreme weather conditions, we have regretfully decided to not allow guests to attend this weekend’s PDC Coral UK Open for safety reasons.”