Brian Caldwell explains decision to postpone tonight's game against Yeovil Town
Shrewsbury Town CEO Brian Caldwell believes that calling tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy Semi-Final off was the sensible decision.
The game was called off at 11am after a pitch inspection revealed that the surface was frozen in places.
With the temperatures set to drop well below zero this evening it was deemed that the pitch would not be usable and Caldwell feels that it’s safer all round.
“I think everyone’s disappointed”, acknowledged Brian.
“Yeovil were up here and we wanted the game on, but at the end of the day I think you need to use a bit of common sense.
“Part of my thinking was that you’ve got 250 Yeovil fans that were scheduled to come up 180 odd miles and the risk, in my head, was that the temperature is set to go to minus three, minus four during the game, which would obviously freeze the pitch.
“I think the last thing you need is a bit of stick for the game being abandoned when people have travelled 180 miles to then have a round trip back again. It wouldn’t be fair and I think sometimes you’ve got to use common sense and say ‘well if the forecast is correct then the pitch isn’t going to get any better’.
“Sometimes in football we don’t look after the fans, but I think in this incidence we really do have to think about the travelling distances.
“Had it been a Walsall or a Port Vale that we were playing then we could probably have left it later and made sure that the forecast is accurate, but I think we have to look after those travelling, even our supporters that could be travelling a distance to come to a semi-final of a national competition.”
Caldwell confirmed that the club had looked at options to help get the game on but unfortunately they weren’t viable this time around.
“Dave Saltman was very proactive and contacted me last Thursday to say that he was getting slightly concerned because of the forecast”, said Brian.
“We enquired about getting a dome to cover it, which costs about £15,000 to hire for the week but if it had got the game on we’d have looked at it, but there were none available. Sometimes you just have to get beaten by the weather and that’s what we’ve done.
“The good thing is that we spoke to the EFL yesterday when we thought there might be some doubt and so to play next Tuesday is ideal. It’s not a long time for people to wait and hopefully the Yeovil fans will still come.
“Anybody who buys a ticket now will have the new date on it and anybody who’s previously bought a ticket will still be valid. If anyone can’t make it next Tuesday then they should contact the ticket office and we will refund them.”