Another blank New Year's Day for the Clarets

Last updated : 01 January 2003 By Tony Scholes

The South Yorkshire club should be congratulated on acting as quickly as they did and in doing so prevented many people from setting off. The news came through sometime around 11:15 that the game would not be going ahead with many Burnley fans, alongside the players, waiting for the news before setting off.

There has been heavy rain overnight in all parts of the country and Sheffield United are having problems, their recent home game with Reading was called off. They had the foresight to call in referee Alan Butler early.

After calling off the game Butler said,

"Following a request under the early warning rule, I made a scheduled visit to the ground and it soon became evident that the widespread standing water on the pitch would make play dangerous.

"Due to inclement weather in Sheffield the pitch was not being given the chance to drain properly, whilst forecasts for the remainder of the day were not encouraging.

"Hopefully the early postponement will minimise the inconvenience to players, officials and supporters of both clubs who will now have time to make other arrangements."

Sheffield United head groundsman said his staff had worked hard to get the game on,

"We have worked unsuccessfully hard since early this morning to try and make the pitch playable but our sources have revealed that the forecast for the rest of the day is not good.

"In fact if the rain persists later this week the FA Cup fixture with Cheltenham could be in doubt."

Last week Burnley won for the first time on Boxing Day since the 1993/94 season and was the last time we won on 1st January when we beat Blackpool on the Turf 3-1 with goals from Andy Farrell, Kevin Russell and John Francis. It proved to be Rooster Russell’s last goal for the Clarets.

The 2-1 home defeat against Wolves is the only occasion we have played on New Year’s Day since that win in 1994.

Hopefully there will be some improvement in the weather over the next couple of days, we are due at Grimsby on Saturday and their game this afternoon against Bradford City.