Clarets not happy with referee decision

Last updated : 22 January 2007 By Tony Scholes
Edmundson claimed the club did everything they could, both during the week and on the day, to get the game played and was obviously disappointed with the decision to call it off. He said: “The first that I knew that there was potentially some doubt was at about quarter past twelve, and I disbelieved it quite frankly. We were concerned about the pitch earlier in the week and borrowed some covers from Lancashire County Cricket Club, we squeezed a lot of water off and when we removed the covers there wasn't a problem with the pitch and that was the verdict of experienced ground staff who have worked at Burnley for many years.”

The Chief Executive, having witnessed the way referee Rob Styles dealt with things at Reading has asked for some consistency. “When the referee went out for a second inspection he said there had been no improvement. We gave him the forecast, predicting one or two showers and otherwise relatively bright along with a drying wind. I think if we had been at five to three the pitch would have been better than it was two hours previously.

“The referee told me that the game wasn't called off because the pitch was waterlogged, it was called off for the safety of the players because it was a risk. I understand safety of players is paramount and I don't argue with that and respect that decision, but there is no consistency being applied. He wouldn't wait to see if the situation improved.

“You cannot argue if is unsafe for the players, but had we started the game and got to 70-75 minutes and then had a very extreme shower leaving standing water on the pitch, I bet the referee would have tried to finish the game, isn't that not putting players at risk?

“Maybe we can take some responsibility for having some blind assumptions and thinking that there's nothing wrong with the pitch, and no one was expressing any doubt whatsoever until the referee arrived.”

The club have needless to say come in for some criticism from fans following the postponement and have now decided to issue hourly bulletins on match days when there are issues with the weather. This will start tomorrow for the re-arranged home game against Stoke.