York City Knights furious with late match cancellation
Jon Flatman, York City Knights chairman is adamant his team should be awarded the points for their game being postponed by Rochdale.
Late on Sunday afternoon, the game was postponed with Rochdale stating the poor and windy weather conditions, as the cause for the decision. Suggested therefore that they were unable to take off pitch coverings and put up the posts.
York were unhappy with events surrounding the decision, as the game wasn't officially called off until beyond the 3PM kick-off. Both sides were waiting and ready to do their pre match warm ups.
In a statement, Flatman said York should be awarded the two league points.
He said: “There is a clear issue to resolve when both teams players, staff and officials want a game to occur and issues created via the Stadium Management company and contractors result in a different outcome.
“The match commissioner was clear that the pitch was playable and he tried his very best to reason with a group of individuals who had a different agenda. Health and safety is a primary concern of all parties however it is not correct to use this backdrop to mask a different agenda.
“It’s the players and fans with whom I have the greatest sympathy. The new wave of York fans, over 300 in number, who have travelled to the game with good intentions have been let down today and quite rightly they are asking questions of our club, the Rochdale club and the sport as a whole.
“Be under no illusions though, York City Knights explored every avenue to get the game on and expect the two league points to be awarded to us and for a clear message to be sent that professional rugby league has obligations of all clubs with respect of ground availability. In light of today, we will further review this position with the arrangements at new community stadium.”
In response, Rochdale CEO Steve Kerr said: “Whilst we are extremely disappointed and frustrated by this situation the safety of all staff in the stadium is paramount.
“We will work hard over the coming days with Rochdale AFC, the stadium company and the Rugby Football League to come to a solution on this and rearrange the fixture.
“Finally I would like to apologise to both sets of players, staff and all supporters who have travelled far and wide to support their teams.
“I would especially like to extend my apologies to the large number of York City Knights supporters who have travelled today.”
An RFL spokesperson added: “This is clearly an unhappy and unusual situation, when a game is called off at such short notice and when spectators, including visiting spectators, are already at the ground.
“We will be looking into the circumstances as a matter of urgency.”