Following the late call to postpone this evening’s match, the Club would like to take the opportunity to empathise with the AFC Blackpool players and officials as well as players, officials and supporters of 1874 over their aborted trip to the Barton Stadium. It is clearly very difficult when there are issues so late on and therefore it is extremely disappointing when people have been inconvenienced.
Two separate reports from the ground during today confirmed that there were no significant issues with the pitch and therefore an inspection was not deemed necessary. Given the postponement issues that we have faced over the last couple of months, we would have had no hesitation to call a Referee in should there have been any doubt. Indeed we feel sure that an inspecting Referee would have declared the game on. However we can only assume that late afternoon and before the ground was opened and the match officials arrived, there must have been a small amount of rainfall which softened the pitch in one area. This is always an unfortunate situation and one that you hope will be avoided.
When the match Referee arrived, he spent 20 minutes walking round the playing area and found a small patch that he felt was too soft and therefore deemed it unplayable. He then made the decision to postpone the game on player safety grounds. We can confirm that there was no standing water on any part of the surface, during the day or this evening. We would like to remind supporters that the Match Referee has ultimate responsibility whether a game will go ahead or not.
Once again, we can only reiterate that we were obviously very disappointed with the situation we all faced and are truly saddened for those who travelled or who worked to prepare for the game.
We would like to thank everyone for their understanding and co-operation this evening.