Manchester City v Manchester United: Carling Cup semi-final postponed due to snow
By Mark Ogden (Telegraph.co.uk)
(05/01/2010) Manchester City were forced to postpone their Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester United as a result of sub-zero temperatures freezing the turnstiles at the City of Manchester Stadium and turning surrounding areas into icebound no-go zones.
With Blackburn’s scheduled first leg of their semi-final against Aston Villa also falling victim to the heavy snow in
There are now growing fears that, with temperatures expected to remain below freezing across widespread areas of the country over the coming days, the weekend’s fixture list could be badly affected by the elements.
The North West Ambulance Service had already declared the region a major incident area and the risks involved in staging a fixture in front of a sell-out 48,000 crowd were considered too great.
"In the end, everyone who was part of the discussions was unanimous that it would have been too dangerous to play the game."
Similar safety issues led to Blackburn calling off the Villa tie, which is due to be re-staged on Jan 14, subject to the Premier League granting Blackburn’s request to move their home game against Fulham back 24 hours to Jan 17.
City’s league fixture against Stoke and United’s home clash with
The difficult weather conditions are imposing a financial squeeze on clubs in the lower leagues, with several recent postponements beginning to affect cash flow.
League One outfit Walsall had lucrative home matches against
Chief executive Roy Whalley said: "We haven’t had a winter like this for a long time, and the precarious financial situation of many clubs is an open secret.
"At most clubs, the match income is the biggest form of cash coming into the club, so there’s an obvious risk that a lack of home matches is going to affect the financial stability of a club.
"For clubs that have large debts, this winter is going to be very, very difficult."
Bill Bratt, chairman of League Two side Port Vale, said: "If the weather continues to be as bad as it is forecast, then a lot of clubs are going to struggle to pay wages."