Date: 24th February 2011 at 9:45am
Written by:

Rotherham United’s game was postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch at Don Valley. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last – and we aren’t the only team to get games called off thanks to the weather.

But, what I’m asking is, should games be called off when there is one side who can’t field eleven first team players?

For instance, this week, Doncaster Rovers has fourteen players out injured, including three key players in Billy Sharp, James Hayter and James Coppinger, and their Chairman, John Ryan claimed that it would be ‘unfair on the paying public’ if the game went ahead.

‘I spoke to the Football League,’ Mr Ryan said, ‘and I wanted them to cancel the match. It’s an unbalanced, unfair game. We’re talking thirteen or fourteen players out here of a twenty-five man squad, with players hardly fit on the bench.’

The team Rovers played on Tuesday was Norwich City and their Chief Executive, David McNally said there was no way the game was every going to be called off.

Speaking to Radio Norfolk, Mr McNally said, ‘Even if there was something within the regulations that allowed the game to be called off, what a tragic, dangerous precedent for the game that would be. There would be heart-wrenching stories from clubs on a daily basis and it would be a farce.’

Well, the game did go ahead and the final score was one-one, with a late Adam Drury own goal giving Doncaster a share of the points.

I remember, some time ago, that the Millers were in the same position as Doncaster, and I’m sure the club asked for a postponement but were turned down. A bout of flu was going through the club and they had to travel to Peterborough on Boxing Day with a depleted first team and, without Manager, Ronnie Moore. Fearing the worst a large following of Millers, many dressed as Santa, travelled to London Road that day and were delighted, nay ecstatic, to come away with a five-nil win. Danny Hudson, Paul Warne (2), Steve Thompson and Leo Fortune-West got the goals for the Millers and were probably pleased that the game wasn’t called off due to illness!

So, should there be a ruling where teams can ask for so many games a season to be postponed due to ‘lack of first teamers’ or is that a load of nonsense and you have to make do with who you’ve got?

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