Date: 23rd January 2008 at 11:16am
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ACCRINGTON STANLEY have this morning released a brief club statement, to inform fans of both Accrington Stanley and Brentford as to why the game was postponed on Saturday.

The statement on the clubs official website (www.accringtonstanley.co.uk) is as follows:

‘In response to an article on Brentford’s website and subsequent approach to the Football League, Accrington Stanley would like to make the following statement to clarify the events of last Saturday.

Club staff arrived at the ground at around 8.00am, the covers were removed and we were confident that the pitch was fit to play on. Even with the surface as it was at this early stage we have played matches in worse conditions both here in Accrington and away from home.

This said of course the decision to play does not rest with the home side, and of course we were mindful that a large number of away supporters were due to make the long journey north. With this in mind we contacted the Football League shortly after 9.00am and asked them to send a representative for an independent opinion. The accusation from Brentford that we simply brought a local referee in holds no truth whatsoever and only serves to inflame the situation.

A Football League appointed referee duly arrived at 10.00am and passed the pitch fit to play on, our reports from the Met Office indicated that there would be no further rainfall and so we had no hesitation in confirming to the visiting team and all supporters that the game would be on.

Our pre-match preparations continued and we were all set to go ahead when the news came through shortly before 2.00pm that the match referee had decided that the match should be postponed on the grounds of player safety, contradicting the earlier inspection even though there had been no further rainfall.

After a brief discussion the referee was adamant that his decision stood, however our opinion remains that the pitch was fit to play on and in fact we had actually played in worse conditions down at Peterborough in a game only five days previous.

We sympathise with the travelling supporters, and indeed our own supporters, some of whom had also made long trips to see the game – we had visitors with us from South Wales, Scotland, Ireland and even Milan, who all went home disappointed. As a gesture of goodwill there will be reduced admission prices for all supporters at the rearranged fixture.’


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