YORKSHIRE’S weekend football programme has been badly hit by the horrendous winter conditions ravaging the country - with games involving Sheffield United, Bradford City, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Barnsley, and Rotherham United – plus others – called off.
Leeds United’s Friday night trip to Middlesbrough, meanwhile, has been given the green light after officials declared so at lunchtime. (Continued further down)
Sheffield Wednesday’s clash at play-off hopefuls Bristol City tomorrow also remains on, as does Huddersfield Town’s trip to Wembley to face Tottenham.
Barnsley’s clash against Norwich City at Oakwell was called off at around 1pm on Friday.
An hour or so later, Doncaster Rovers’ encounter with Bury at the Keepmoat Stadium was also postponed. As in a number of cases, the pitch was playable, but the approaches to the ground for spectators, players and staff were deemed unsafe.
Doncaster’s head of operations Marie Hepburn said: “Unfortunately, despite all our work, we simply couldn’t guarantee the safety of everyone attending which is the top priority for us. There is further adverse weather forecast overnight and on Saturday morning, and we were only left with one option.”
National League rivals FC Halifax Town and Guiseley have also been hit, while and National League North outfits Bradford Park Avenue, Harrogate and York City have also seen their fixtures postponed due to the snowy conditions and Arctic blast.
The Blades’ home encounter with Burton Albion, scheduled for Saturday, was also called off on safety grounds following negotiations between the club, Safety Advisory Group, South Yorkshire Police and EFL.
Blades chief operating officer Andrew Birks said: “The conditions of the past couple of days have made preparing for Saturday’s game very difficult and the biggest priority we have had to consider is supporter safety and well-being.
“The pitch is in fantastic condition and would be fit, the undersoil heating having been on for the last seven days, but the snow and ice, plus the threat of further arctic conditions, has prompted us to have conversations with the relevant authorities and the decision has been made with us unable to guarantee supporter safety.”
Earlier, Bradford’s game against Portsmouth has been also postponed on safety grounds, alongside Rotherham’s trip to Gillingham - with Kent under a deep blanket of snow.
Guiseley’s home game with Dagenham and Redbridge and York’s National League North trip to Kidderminster have also been called off early.
Meanwhile, Leeds’ trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa has been rescheduled for Friday, April 13 and will be televised by Sky Sports.
It will represent United’s 18th league game shown live by Sky this season.
The game was originally due to be staged on Saturday, April 14.
Bradford’s home game against Shrewsbury Town - originally scheduled for Saturday, April 14 - has been brought forward 48 hours to Thursday, April 12 and will also be screened on Sky.