Date: 6th January 2009 at 7:06pm
Written by:

It’s annoying isn’t it when you get to an away game only to find out that it’s been called off.

We were lucky last season as I think we only had one late call off and that was our game at Bradford. We were just over half way there when we were told it had been postponed so turned round and came home (to the pub, I seem to recall!) And we have to remember the people who organise coaches to away games too – as soon as the coach is on it’s way to the pick up points then it has to be paid for. Very awkward for late postponements.

The Football League today have re-iterated the recommended procedures for early pitch inspections and John Nagle, the Football League Head of Communications, told their Official Site, ‘Given the low temperatures we are experiencing, it is likely that we will see a number of games called off in the days ahead. It is important that clubs do everything they can to prevent supporters making wasted journeys to postponed fixtures.’

Home clubs are being asked to:-

** provide an early warning to the Football League that the game might be in doubt
** contact the visiting club at least twenty-four hours prior to kick-off
** contact the match referee to inform him of the situation
** contact the Football League if they think a very early pitch inspection is necessary (for instance on a Friday for a Saturday game). If they think it’s necessary the Football League will contact a local referee who will report back to the League and then they will make a decision
** keep supporters informed through relevent channels – Club Websites, Radio Five, Press Association, SMS sites

The Football League has also said that whilst the responsibility resides locally with the home side, no club can postpone a match by itself. Such a decision can only be made by the match referee or the Football League.

Because of the unpredictability of the British weather some matches may still be called off late in the day. But, if the above procedures are carried out it is hoped that such cases can be kept to a minimum.

At the moment, here on Vital, we are keeping an eye on the weather in Luton. Hopefully, the game can go ahead and we are lucky to have friends in Luton who are keeping us up to date with the snow and frost!