Vital Football

Latest Walsall FC News

Where does the blame lie?

Where does the blame lie?

It was 2.05 and the announcement that the game had been cancelled was met with disgust from home and away supporters alike.

Since then, a mini media circus of accusations has errupted from both camps, as well as the referee as to why the match was called off of late.

Naturally, the referee, Matt Haywood, took responsibility, but since this, the Saddlers management have pointed the finger at Canaries boss Paul Lambert, who is said to have complained at the state of the pitch, which led to a late inspection.

However, this is the true timeline:

At 6am, Saddlers groundstaff arrive to check on the pitch, after frostcovers were placed on the pitch on Boxing Day. At 11.30am, referee Matt Haywood arrives at the Banks's to inspect the pitch, which is deemed playable.

However, Haywood met with the Norwich boss at 1.45pm, which led to further inspection and the game being called off 20 minutes later.

Our stance seems to be that there was no indication that there would be another inspection before kick off, as the referee had stated that he was pleased with the progress and state of the pitch. However, the game was postponed citing 'player safety' as the reason.

Strange! Hutch has gone on record stating that the pitch was in worser conidition for the last home game against Leyton Orient and that the pitch was playable.

Roy Whalley has also added his thoughts on the match, saying that because the referee had consulted the Norwich management team, who had disclosed their disgust at the state of the pitch, the game would not have been called off.

Norwich chief executive David McNally has recently responded to our statement on Canaries.co.uk: 'Once again, we wish to point out the only person ultimately responsible for the decision to call off the match is the referee. Whether we agree with his decision or not is immaterial - the responsibility for deciding whether the fixture can go ahead is his and his alone.

'We are surprised and disappointed that they appear to be questioning his professional integrity over this matter.'

So there is no denial that Lambert met with the officials?

Another can of worms that had been opened was whether the away fans should receive refunds, to which we said no.

However, Norwich appealed against this decision and we are now offering refunds to any fan that cannot attend the rearranged date for the fixture.

I think we can all agree that this was a shambles, but ultimately the responsible man for this is unfortunately the ref himself.




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Rich
Date:Wednesday December 30 2009
Time: 12:11PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Walsall Articles

Whitney praise for Oztumer

Jon Whitney reserved special praise for Erhun Oztumer

'The Whitney cycle'

The latest Vital Walsall blog...

2017 Non League Day Announced

One of the biggest events of the year to promote the Non League game will return for an eighth consecutive season during the next international break.

Walsall v Peterborough United

The Saddlers take on Peterborough United in what could be a crucial game for Jon Whitney in his managerial career. Walsall come into the game on the back of a humiliating 5-1 defeat on Tuesday, whilst the Posh will be buoyant after their midweek win again MK Dons.

Archived Vital Saddlers Articles

Vital Saddlers articles from

Site Journalists

TP1992
Editor email
Profile
Kev
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Where Will Walsall Finish?
Suggested By:
Automatic Promotion8%
Play Offs18%
Mid Table Medicority47%
Relegation27%
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Walsall Results (view all)

The Vital Football Members League