The Argyle Fans’ Trust was disappointed by the late postponement of today’s Scunthorpe United v Plymouth Argyle fixture.
We accept that inclement weather is something that travelling supporters will always have to deal with, we feel that additional questions arise about today’s events:
1. The weather forecast for Scunthorpe was known in advance and there was discussion as to whether the game would go ahead.
2. It appears that Scunthorpe did not attempt to cover the pitch, as they could have done. Is there a reason as to why no attempt was made to cover the pitch?
3. The referee’s arrival was delayed: the pitch inspection took place immediately he arrived and the game was called off at 1140. Why wasn’t a local referee asked to make an earlier inspection? This could have prevented many of our fans having travelled a long distance before the game was called off.
4. Why was this fixture scheduled for the Easter weekend at all? Bank holidays pose special problems for travelling supporters because of cancelled and reduced public transport, road closures and weight of traffic but the further the journey, the worse the impact can be.
Scunthorpe is the fourth longest trip for Argyle fans. At approximately 318 miles, only Bradford’s 330 miles, Fleetwood’s 325 miles and Blackpool’s 321 miles are further. There are many closer teams in the division which would have been more suitable opponents for a Bank Holiday fixture.
This is not the first time that our travelling supporters have had a long and expensive Bank Holiday away trip pointlessly ruined. Two years ago, motorway congestion led many fans to miss a Good Friday game at Morecambe altogether.
As Argyle supporters make similar journeys to almost every away game during which we clock up an agonising 6021 miles this season, we realise more than anybody the problems that travelling can face . However, in this instance we feel we have been badly let down. Nothing can be done about too much rain but something could, and should have been done to ameliorate the situation.
We call on the EFL and the FA to investigate why the pitch cover was not used , why an earlier inspection was not held and to ensure that Bank Holiday fixtures are arranged in future so as to minimise long-distance travel for supporters of geographically remote teams.
Contact Argyle Fans’ Trust chair Bob Foale by telephone on 07712 196441 if you’d like to speak to us on this matter.