With more snow on its way in the upcoming period, The Football League has re-iterated its recommended procedures with regard to early pitch inspections.
Football League Head of Communications, John Nagle, said, "Given the poor weather we are currently experiencing it is very likely that we'll see a number of games being called in the days ahead. Therefore, clubs will be doing everything they can to prevent supporters making wasted journeys to postponed fixtures."
Consequently, in instances where there is any possibility of a fixture being postponed because of bad weather, home clubs are expected to:
• Provide an early warning to The Football League that the fixture might be in doubt and seek appropriate advice;
• Contact the visiting club at least 24 hours prior to kick-off to ascertain their travelling arrangements and to keep these in mind throughout the ensuing lead up period;
• Contact the match referee to inform him of the situation and to make him aware that an early inspection might be required. If needed, this inspection should be made prior to the visiting club and their supporters beginning their journey;
• Contact The Football League if they believe a very early pitch inspection is a sensible course of action (e.g. Friday for a Saturday match). In such cases The League may arrange for the inspection to be made by a local referee, with the decision made by The League, itself, based on his/her report;
• Keep supporters informed of any changes to the status of the match through relevant news channels such as The Football League website and twitter account, Sky Sports News, Radio Five Live, TalkSPORT, the Press Association and Club websites, SMS services and social media outlets.
Whilst the responsibility for the initial action resides locally with the home team, no club may postpone a match by itself. Such a decision can only be taken by the match referee or The Football League.
Clubs are encouraged to do everything they can to get matches played and the unpredictability of the British weather may still lead to some matches being called off late in the day or even abandoned after they have begun. However, through the implementation of these procedures it is hoped that such cases can be kept to a minimum.
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