Court action… negligence… gamesmanship… ulterior motives… conspiracy theories… and you thought it was just a cold snap. Out of bed at 8am still nursing a hangover and on the train to Doncaster just after nine fuelled on optimism and a dubious microwaved bacon sandwich courtesy of East Midlands Trains. Forty minutes later and my phone buzzed into action with a succession of texts and calls to let me know the game was off; frozen pitch. Unfortunately, by that stage and despite an attempt to bribe the guard there was no turning back… at least not until I got to Doncaster. A cup of coffee later and it was on the next train home. Disappointed? Yes. Annoyed? Only slightly.
Back home not long after midday and a quick check on the internet revealed fans messageboards in meltdown with a host of arguments, counter arguments and blame being labelled on anything and everything for the games non-existence. Everything was and has been called into question from the referee’s judgement to the police’s logic, the groundsman’s methods to the chairman’s real agenda.
What gets me is this… do things not just happen any more? This match had been scheduled for a midday kick-off for some time; throw in the lowest temperatures of the year so far in the Doncaster area and there was always a chance it might not go ahead. As such a decision was made early, on police instruction, to ensure minimal disruption for travelling fans. It was in no-one’s interest for this game to not happen; it was simply very very cold.
Many Rovers fans will see this as another failing of the Stadium Management Committee which is perhaps a harsh judgement. Leeds on the other hand appear to be using this for a continuation of their Claims Direct approach to life in League One. Where there’s blame, there’s a claim. United are apparently planning to report Rovers to the League over this postponement, on what grounds I’m not exactly sure, but each to their own.
Efforts are now being made to rearrange the match for Tuesday 26th February with a 7:45pm kick-off although this is yet to be confirmed. An exact decision on the rearranged date is expected to be made within the next twenty-four hours.