Winter weather causes mass postponements
EFL programme badly affected by freezing temperatures and snowfall.
The Sky Bet Championship matches at Barnsley, Ipswich and Sheffield United have been postponed as the weekend sporting programme continues to be badly affected by the wintry weather.
The Tractor Boys announced on Friday morning that Saturday’s contest against Hull at Portman Road had been called off due to safety concerns, while the Blades’ home encounter against Burton is also off.
Barnsley’s home match against Norwich also fell foul of the weather.
A statement on Ipswich’s official website said: “The pitch is protected and likely to be playable but the areas inside and outside the stadium are hazardous and more bad weather is forecast later today, with freezing temperatures to continue into the weekend.”
Other Saturday fixtures postponed on Friday included AFC Wimbledon v Charlton, Blackpool v Northampton, Bradford v Portsmouth, Gillingham v Rotherham, Oxford v Fleetwood, Rochdale v Plymouth and Shrewsbury v Peterborough in League One, and Barnet v Port Vale, Cheltenham v Notts County, Exeter v Chesterfield, Morecambe v Colchester, Newport v Accrington, Stevenage v Mansfield and Swindon v Yeovil in League Two.
West Ham boss David Moyes expressed his concern about the roads ahead of his side’s flight to Cardiff for their Premier League 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 at his pre-match press conference.
“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.”
Southampton put a statement on their official website saying they were continuing to monitor conditions ahead of Saturday’s top-flight game against Stoke at St Mary’s, and planned to issue a further update at 5pm.
Saints said in the statement: “Following heavy snowfall in the region, the club has been consulting with Hampshire Police, Southampton City Council, the Premier League and Stoke, and will continue dialogue throughout the day with all relevant parties.”
West Brom are set to travel south for their Premier League match at Watford via the train.
“We’ve been fortunate that the weather hasn’t affected us too much. We are still going to Watford on the train,” Albion boss Alan Pardew said at his press conference on Friday morning.
“It’s not an easy weekend for football. Hopefully we can get down there, give a good performance and warm our fans up.”
All but one of the 12 Vanarama National League games that were scheduled for Saturday have been called off, while in Scotland, Ross County announced their Premiership home game against Partick Thistle was off following advice taken by the police.
In Super League, Hull were still set to host Warrington on Friday evening, although the away side announced they had taken the decision to cancel 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 (@WarringtonRLFC) March 2, 2018
Warrington said on their website: “It is expected that trains will still be running across the Pennines 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.”
Wigan confirmed their Friday evening clash against Widnes at the DW Stadium was also still on.
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 at our resort in Minehead, Somerset, for safety reasons.”