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Club News


15 January 2021

Club News


15 January 2021

The Bantams' Sky Bet League Two visit of Crawley Town - scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday January 16) - has been postponed.

Referee Bobby Madley visited the Utilita Energy Stadium this afternoon and concluded he was pleased with the Valley Parade playing surface, and that it was safe for use. 

Snow and ice in areas surrounding the ground, however, make for dangerous conditions and the Utilita Energy Stadium has therefore been deemed unsafe as a wider facility. 

Snow and ice had been cleared from the frost covers - which have remained on the playing surface since Wednesday - in its entirety, thanks to hours of hard work from City's ground staff. 

But, with Valley Parade and Burlington Street outside the stadium particularly hazardous - and more adverse weather forecast - the EFL has made the decision to postpone the fixture. 

Upon inspecting the surface, Madley said: "The efforts of the ground staff have been superb and, from a playing perspective, there is no issue whatsoever. 

"All the snow has been cleared from the surface, and the pitch is still a decent one. 

"There is obviously a much bigger picture than the playing perspective though, and the roads around the ground certainly do not look or feel safe. 

"The EFL have to take into account the fact the away side have a long distance to travel, and are likely to be bringing their team coach down Valley Parade. 

"The ground staff here have put me in a position to say that the pitch is fine, so massive credit goes to them, but there are much bigger decisions to be made in terms of safety outside the ground."

City's chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, added: "We have worked tirelessly to ensure the pitch is playable, and that remains the case. 

"The playing surface is not frozen and is in good condition, however surrounding areas of the stadium are extremely unsafe and this has caused concerns. 

"Given where we are in society, we do not wish to put people’s welfare at risk and potentially add further strain to the country’s already-stretched emergency services. 

"We are naturally disappointed to have lost the fixture. It will be close to a month by the time we next take to the field. 

"However, given the conditions around the Utilita Energy Stadium - and an adverse forecast which could bring even more snow overnight - we are sadly unable to play the game."

The fixture will be rearranged, with details of a new date - as well as information on streaming - to be announced in due course. 

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