Blues v FC United Saturday hopes are dashed

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WHITBY Town’s hopes of rescheduling their money-spinning clash with FC United of Manchester for a Saturday appear to have been dashed by league chiefs.

The match was called off on Saturday morning as the Turnbull pitch was covered in hard frost.

The Blues have lost up to £7,000 from the postponement as FC United routinely bring hundreds of fans to away games.

Hopes were raised of having the game pencilled in for Saturday 10 March, a date which had been kept free by the EvoStik League - but now Whitby will travel to bottom-of-the-table Burscough instead, with the home match against FC United played on Wednesday 28 March, which will almost certainly reduce the attendance by more than 50 per cent.

Andy Baxter, Whitby Town’s match day announcer, emailed the Whitby Gazette to say the rescheduling of the FC United game would condemn Whitby to what will be “no more than a 400 maximum crowd”, penalising the club financially.

“What myself and others I have spoken to cannot understand is that the Saturday 10 March appeared to be a date kept free by the league (with no clear reasons given) but presumably for teams to slot in cancelled games due to any bad weather,” he said.

“As Saturday 4 February (when we should have been at home to FC United) also saw every single game in the Premier league postponed due to bad weather, why didn’t the EvoStik league simply state that 10 March is now a stipulated re-scheduled date for all those cancelled games and any others would have to be arranged separately.

“This would mean that FC Utd would have to come to Whitby and any game they may have scheduled for 10 March could be rearranged as necessary and allowing Whitby Town to still get their lucrative big home game of the season.

“Plus it’s about time we got FC United of Manchester at home in September time when the weather is good.

“For a few years now, we’ve had a February-time fixture which has fallen foul of the bad weather.”

The Whitby Gazette took up the matter with the EvoStik League on behalf of Whitby Town Football Club to see if a Saturday date could be arranged to suit all parties.

However, the league responded: “We tend to look more on distances travelled and hence the Burscough game going to a Saturday.

“I am afraid we have to be consistent in our considerations to Whitby Town FC.”

Should the league rearrange Whitby’s big game for a Saturday? Add your comments below or email duncan.atkins@yrnltd.co.uk