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Club News


11 March 2018

Everyone at the club, including our new manager Simon Grayson, was desperate to get this Saturday's game on.

We wanted to give Simon, in what would have been his first home match in charge, and the players the chance to hopefully secure a morale-boosting victory over Milton Keynes Dons.

However, with every game that has the risk of postponement we have to consider the following important factors. 

Firstly, what can we do within our own control to get the game on safely? 

Our aim is always to work towards putting a game on, but it will be the referee's decision to call a match off based on the safety of players and supporters.

If there is a stronger possibility of the game being on than not, the decision to postpone a game naturally is taken at the latest opportunity. 

Conversely if the pitch is unplayable early on and the weather reports are of severe weather which may lead to an abandonment after kick off (the worst case scenario), a decision needs to be made as early as possible. 

It's a double-edged sword. If a game is called off too early we would be criticised if conditions were to improve.

If we delay a postponement in order to try get the game on we will be criticised for not calling the game off sooner. 

Thanks to the hard work of the ground staff, the referee at 12 noon decided to give it another hour before making a decision.

No further rain fell and the pitch improved, but due to a couple of areas where resting water was not subsiding and further rain forecast later in the day - the decision was made to call it off when it was certain the game was in serious doubt of finishing as opposed to starting.

At that point the stadium would have been full and logistics much more difficult. 

We communicated news of the postponement across all platforms and used our broadcast partner BBC Leeds to release this information live on air also.

We were hopeful that the match was going to be on so we did not get the referee in early.

We have turned around similar situations with the pitch already this season (Boxing Day vs Peterborough United and vs Bury last home game) so used these experiences as our guidance.

Ultimately our efforts were futile, however, and Ben Toner, the match official, made the correct decision.

In hindsight we wish we had called the referee earlier, but we did believe at all points we would get the game on.

We would like to apologise to all our supporters who travelled from near and far for the game, as well as the MK Dons team and their own fans.

Any tickets purchased for this Saturday’s match will be valid for the rearranged fixture (date to be confirmed).

Any supporters wishing to claim a full refund can do so from the ticket office upon production of their valid match ticket(s).

Thank you for your continued support. 

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