Referees body issues statement on Blackpool v Charlton postponement

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) has issued a statement outlining the reasons for the postponement of Blackpool's game against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Monday, 29th January 2018, 9:42 am
Updated Monday, 29th January 2018, 9:45 am
Saturday's game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch

Referee Carl Boyeson took the controversial decision to postpone the match less than an hour before kick off following his third inspection of the Bloomfield Road pitch.

He found the waterlogged surface was unplayable and would endanger the safety of the players.

The game was eventually called off just after 2pm, not long before tributes were due to begin for Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield.

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PGMOL, the body that oversees referees, issued the following statement: “Following heavy rain in the Blackpool area on Saturday, the first of three pitch inspections took place at 12.15pm with both clubs indicating their desire for the game to go ahead as scheduled.

“A final inspection was ordered for 2pm where the referee deemed a number of areas of Bloomfield Road playing surface unplayable due to being waterlogged and, as a result, reluctantly took the decision to postpone the fixture.

“A new date will be scheduled at the earliest convenience.”

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Bowyer: Postponement was not in the script

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer said he understood why Boyeson opted to call the game off.

“I don’t think it was in the script for the game to be called off but I understand why the referee did because he was talking about the safety of the players," he said.

“It’s a tough one, isn’t it? If you were here at 11.15am, the game was off. It was as simple as that because the pitch was flooded.

“Stan (the groundsman) has worked his socks off to get it to the condition it is now. He was never in doubt that the game would be on.

“But there’s still some water on the pitch that could have caused the ball to stop, which then makes it dangerous for the players.

“It’s a difficult decision for him but I think he’s handled himself ever so well in the sense he had a tough call to make. It’s not just calling a game off, it’s calling off a game that comes after the tributes to Jimmy Armfield.

“He’s had to put that aside and make the right call. It’s better to be here speaking about that rather than speaking about an injury that somebody suffered because the game was allowed to go on.

“Once he made the call I thought the way that everybody acted was unbelievable."

Charlton boss Karl Robinson was less impressed with Boyeson's decision.

"We’re fuming," he said.

"We’ve heard reports from certain idiots that we didn’t want this game on.

“We asked to play 4pm, 5pm and then 1pm on Sunday.

“So if their chairman wants to say we didn’t want to play, we need to have a conversation me and him because we wanted to play.

“I’m not having that about my players because we were here and ready to play. Blackpool were ready to play.

“So the referee made a decision for the safety of the players but I think you saw my reaction walking back into the dressing room when I was told it was off.

“We’re both not happy. We were in great form and came here full of expectation and full of hope."