The devastating effect of weather on Non League clubs: Postponenment leads to £12k loss

Winter Football

Chorley FC had to call off their match against fellow promotion challengers FC United at the weekend and lost out on up to £12,000

The weather has had a dramatic effect on the English domestic season with hundreds of games being called off and disrupting leagues. It has led to many having loads of games in hand that will have to be played over a short period of time.

Last Saturday Chorley FC were all set to welcome FC United to Victory Park. It would have been a huge game for both sides. Chorley are currently top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division, whilst FC United are battling for a play-off spot. There was set to be a bumper crowd for the occasion, with FC United being one of the best supported teams outside the Non League. They would have brought a large following and Chorley were ready for this.

However the game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch thanks to a huge downpour on Friday night.

Vice chairman Vince Watkinson explains that the postponement could have cost the club up to £12,000 as more than 2,000 fans were expected to attend the game. "I’m disappointed as plenty of work went into the game and everybody put in plenty of work around the ground.

“I think we had something like 700 pies made and 500 programmes printed and hardly any of them could be used because of the weather."

Obviously those pies cant be held back for another occasion and go to waste. The programmes will have to be reprinted for the rearranged game which will now take place on the 4th March. It's a devastating blow for Chorley who would have been looking forward to this game for some time as it's likely to be their highest attendance of the season.

It is unlikely the crowd will reach its potential on a Tuesday but Vince Watkinson has called on the fans to come and support The Magpies in their next home game which is against Rushall Olympic who have Dele Adebola on their books.

"It’s a massive blow for us as it’s a hell of a lot of money to lose out on, but we are calling on the fans not to forget us and turn out in our next home fixtures against Rushall Olympic and the re-arranged tie against FC United on March 4.”

The clubs at the top of the English football pyramid can handle the harsh weather with better prepared pitches, and even if postponements do occur they can handle the loss of revenue. At the lower end it's a devastating blow especially when it's such a huge match and they would have budgeted for a big windfall.

Last weekend many clubs weren't in action due to the FA Cup and it is times like that when football fans should go and support their local Non League team. If of course their match hasn't fallen foul to the weather.

image: © vortistic

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