RUFC - Douglas 'common sense had to prevail'
Rotherham United v Gillingham was called off yesterday lunch time because of the adverse weather conditions around the country with the full backing of the Football League.
It`s frustrating for the Millers as they didn`t have a game last weekend either due to not making it through to the second round of the FA Cup.
Chief Operating Officer, Paul Douglas told David Beddows of The Advertiser, 'Both Gillingham and ourselves wanted to play but, with the Kent area already under a foot of snow with more forecast, sometimes, common sense had to prevail.
'It was clear that the ground wasn`t going to be fit to play on and that`s before you consider the problems of travelling down there. And, from our point of view, we have to consider the travelling supporters plus our own travel and hotel arrangements. If the match had been twenty or fifty miles away then the decision could have been left until 11 o`clock on Saturday morning but, in this case, it was better to make it sooner.
'And, for Gillingham, there are cancellation charges to think about and issues regarding policing arrangements, catering, staffing and so on.`
As someone who helps organise away travel, the 'will it be on, won`t it be on` in this sort of weather is a bit of a nightmare. The coach company we use are very good and, as long as the driver hasn`t left the depot, we can cancel.
In the last few seasons, I think we`ve been relatively lucky - only once I recall having to turn back half way, which was to Bradford and then last season we were about to set off to Chesterfield when the game was postponed.
So, we applaud the Football League`s 'rules` that the host club contact the visiting club twenty-four hours before kick-off and that an inspection of the pitch/surrounding area, be made before the visiting club and supporters begin their journey.