Pitch problems are killing us, says County chief

South Wales Argus: DEVASTATED: County chief executive Dave Boddy, right, with manager Justin Edinburgh DEVASTATED: County chief executive Dave Boddy, right, with manager Justin Edinburgh

NEWPORT County AFC say they are ‘devastated’ after last night’s clash with Fleetwood Town became the club’s fifth home fixture to be postponed since December 21 due to a waterlogged pitch.

The Exiles have played only one League Two fixture at Rodney Parade since December 1 and chief executive Dave Boddy admits that the issue is now causing real problems.

The postponement of matches against AFC Wimbledon, Oxford United, Dagenham & Redbridge, Plymouth Argyle and now Fleetwood have cost the club around £180,000.

If the situation continues that will impact the club’s ability to pay players’ and staff wages and on the field Justin Edinburgh’s men have fallen eight points off the play-off places because of the disruption.

Boddy revealed to the Argus on Thursday that the Football League had written to the club but he now says that there is no pressure from the ‘sympathetic’ authorities and sanctions are unlikely at this stage.

Newport Gwent Dragons, who share the ground with County and Newport RFC, are due to host Edinburgh in the RaboDirect Pro 12 tomorrow but that game is subject to a 9am pitch inspection today.

And the Exiles’ home clash on Tuesday against Wimbledon is also in danger of being postponed again.

County did explore the option of switching that game to Wimbledon’s Kingsmeadow ground as the reverse fixture is yet to be played but the Dons rejected that proposal.

“It’s devastating,” said Boddy. “This situation is killing the club.

“We were in a very positive position in the table and in terms of cash flow on December 21.

“But now we’re falling behind our play-off rivals and we’re £180,000 down on where we should be.

“We’ve ridden that situation up to now but we will have to assess where we are in the coming days.

“We’re in a very difficult position that would crucify any business.”

But Boddy moved to dispel any fears that the club could be punished by the Football League for the number of postponements this season – their first back in the League after a 25-year absence.

“The Football League are acutely aware of the situation and are sympathetic, as are other clubs,” said Boddy.

“The League say they will try to help us as much as they can and we’re not under any pressure from them.

“We approached Wimbledon about reversing Tuesday’s fixture but that would mean them losing a potentially big Good Friday gate.”

The Fleetwood match has been rearranged for Tuesday, March 4, but County are running out of dates to fit in any more postponed games.

Boddy told the Argus that playing home games away from Rodney Parade was “not an option” but the Exiles are now in talks with the Dragons about bringing in rain covers on Monday.

He added: “We’re doing the best we can in a very difficult situation.”

Comments (18)

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10:33am Sat 8 Feb 14

sooty001 says...

Why are we waiting until Monday to get some cover on the pitch?
Why are we waiting until Monday to get some cover on the pitch? sooty001

10:45am Sat 8 Feb 14

ohc says...

I think Mr Boddy will find there will be longer term consequences to this shambles which seems to have similarity with whats happening (or hasn't) in Somerset. The missing games has made me realise that with travel etc costs, I pay out around £60 to see each one. Five missed means I am £300 better off. If I don't go again this season (no point promotion missed), I'll be £1000ish in hand. Better s[pent on a holiday me thinks
I think Mr Boddy will find there will be longer term consequences to this shambles which seems to have similarity with whats happening (or hasn't) in Somerset. The missing games has made me realise that with travel etc costs, I pay out around £60 to see each one. Five missed means I am £300 better off. If I don't go again this season (no point promotion missed), I'll be £1000ish in hand. Better s[pent on a holiday me thinks ohc

11:24am Sat 8 Feb 14

county mad says...

Any chance of using Cwmbran Stadium?
Any chance of using Cwmbran Stadium? county mad

11:36am Sat 8 Feb 14

Frankfurt says...

county mad wrote:
Any chance of using Cwmbran Stadium?
No. The stand is comdemned and can't be used. There's only standing room around the pitch and no terracing.
[quote][p][bold]county mad[/bold] wrote: Any chance of using Cwmbran Stadium?[/p][/quote]No. The stand is comdemned and can't be used. There's only standing room around the pitch and no terracing. Frankfurt

12:09pm Sat 8 Feb 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

again i go back to a comment i made yesterday where was the contingency plan for this eventuallity?

the board knew the drainage work was not complete last summer and had first hand experinece of what the consequences were of postponements in our conference promotion season.

surely this could be seen as a potential threat last summer and contingency plans arranged .

mr boddy is right the lose of revenue is crippling and undoing all the good work county are doing but through PLANNING all this could have been avoided.
again i go back to a comment i made yesterday where was the contingency plan for this eventuallity? the board knew the drainage work was not complete last summer and had first hand experinece of what the consequences were of postponements in our conference promotion season. surely this could be seen as a potential threat last summer and contingency plans arranged . mr boddy is right the lose of revenue is crippling and undoing all the good work county are doing but through PLANNING all this could have been avoided. COUNTYVOICE

12:35pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

ohc wrote:
I think Mr Boddy will find there will be longer term consequences to this shambles which seems to have similarity with whats happening (or hasn't) in Somerset. The missing games has made me realise that with travel etc costs, I pay out around £60 to see each one. Five missed means I am £300 better off. If I don't go again this season (no point promotion missed), I'll be £1000ish in hand. Better s
County points off playoffs with 2 am in hand. Majority of their remaining games at home. Ok its a busy schedule but theres depth in the squad so its hardly over. However, if you support any team only when they are winning you'll be disappointed most seasons.
[quote][p][bold]ohc[/bold] wrote: I think Mr Boddy will find there will be longer term consequences to this shambles which seems to have similarity with whats happening (or hasn't) in Somerset. The missing games has made me realise that with travel etc costs, I pay out around £60 to see each one. Five missed means I am £300 better off. If I don't go again this season (no point promotion missed), I'll be £1000ish in hand. Better s[pent on a holiday me thinks[/p][/quote]County points off playoffs with 2 am in hand. Majority of their remaining games at home. Ok its a busy schedule but theres depth in the squad so its hardly over. However, if you support any team only when they are winning you'll be disappointed most seasons. Thomas O'Malley

3:04pm Sat 8 Feb 14

sunreader says...

Is the issue being caused by the extreme weather or is at as a result of the cheapest works quotation having been taken to do last years pitch improvements and the work subsequently being done to a poor standard. I'm guessing it's the latter as there seems to be a major drainage issue, something has gone wrong at the ground works stage when it was done last year.
Is the issue being caused by the extreme weather or is at as a result of the cheapest works quotation having been taken to do last years pitch improvements and the work subsequently being done to a poor standard. I'm guessing it's the latter as there seems to be a major drainage issue, something has gone wrong at the ground works stage when it was done last year. sunreader

4:37pm Sat 8 Feb 14

ex-St. Julians boy says...

Exeter City borrowed a blotter machine off Somerset CCC earlier this week in an effort to get rid rid of their pitch's standing water and make sure their game against Pompey went ahead. It's game on today. Perhaps a friendly approach to Glamorgan CCC might be a good idea.
Exeter City borrowed a blotter machine off Somerset CCC earlier this week in an effort to get rid rid of their pitch's standing water and make sure their game against Pompey went ahead. It's game on today. Perhaps a friendly approach to Glamorgan CCC might be a good idea. ex-St. Julians boy

6:29pm Sat 8 Feb 14

exrisca says...

If we win our games in hand then we could be in a automatic promotion spot but certainly right up there in the play offs. A big 'if'' maybe but playing regularly could put us on a roll like Mansfield last season.
Having said that, beating Accrington in the sunshine seems another world away now.
If we win our games in hand then we could be in a automatic promotion spot but certainly right up there in the play offs. A big 'if'' maybe but playing regularly could put us on a roll like Mansfield last season. Having said that, beating Accrington in the sunshine seems another world away now. exrisca

8:22pm Sat 8 Feb 14

llandaff says...

I see on the County website that they are considering dome covers before the Wimbledon game. Why did they not think of this before now???
I see on the County website that they are considering dome covers before the Wimbledon game. Why did they not think of this before now??? llandaff

9:09pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Frankfurt says...

ex-St. Julians boy wrote:
Exeter City borrowed a blotter machine off Somerset CCC earlier this week in an effort to get rid rid of their pitch's standing water and make sure their game against Pompey went ahead. It's game on today. Perhaps a friendly approach to Glamorgan CCC might be a good idea.
It's already been done.
[quote][p][bold]ex-St. Julians boy[/bold] wrote: Exeter City borrowed a blotter machine off Somerset CCC earlier this week in an effort to get rid rid of their pitch's standing water and make sure their game against Pompey went ahead. It's game on today. Perhaps a friendly approach to Glamorgan CCC might be a good idea.[/p][/quote]It's already been done. Frankfurt

11:18am Sun 9 Feb 14

Harps62 says...

No chance for Tuesday again after last nights gales?
No chance for Tuesday again after last nights gales? Harps62

11:49am Sun 9 Feb 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

just looked at the table , and its a funny old table saint.

county still eighth, and if they win their 3 games in hand they will replace SOUTHEND in the last remaining play off spot and be among the mix with the other 3 play off teams and only 3 points off automatic promotion,

equallly a couple more weeks of inactivity could see county drop to 15th position as the position has the mnimum of 36 points,

but even more perverse is the fact what second from bottom has 29 points and the two teams above the drop are only 2 points further advanced on 31.

so county's season is precariously balanced hit the ground running and they shoot back up into the promised land (no side below the top too are going to pull away too quickly on the evidence of the season so far) and conversely continue on this poor run they are in now and the basement beckons.

if that isnt enough motivation for the lads how does the dole queue sound ...... the balance of the season is in the players hands
just looked at the table , and its a funny old table saint. county still eighth, and if they win their 3 games in hand they will replace SOUTHEND in the last remaining play off spot and be among the mix with the other 3 play off teams and only 3 points off automatic promotion, equallly a couple more weeks of inactivity could see county drop to 15th position as the position has the mnimum of 36 points, but even more perverse is the fact what second from bottom has 29 points and the two teams above the drop are only 2 points further advanced on 31. so county's season is precariously balanced hit the ground running and they shoot back up into the promised land (no side below the top too are going to pull away too quickly on the evidence of the season so far) and conversely continue on this poor run they are in now and the basement beckons. if that isnt enough motivation for the lads how does the dole queue sound ...... the balance of the season is in the players hands COUNTYVOICE

12:26pm Sun 9 Feb 14

sperduti says...

ohc wrote:
I think Mr Boddy will find there will be longer term consequences to this shambles which seems to have similarity with whats happening (or hasn't) in Somerset. The missing games has made me realise that with travel etc costs, I pay out around £60 to see each one. Five missed means I am £300 better off. If I don't go again this season (no point promotion missed), I'll be £1000ish in hand. Better s
footie supporters must have really good jobs to fork out this every week!!
[quote][p][bold]ohc[/bold] wrote: I think Mr Boddy will find there will be longer term consequences to this shambles which seems to have similarity with whats happening (or hasn't) in Somerset. The missing games has made me realise that with travel etc costs, I pay out around £60 to see each one. Five missed means I am £300 better off. If I don't go again this season (no point promotion missed), I'll be £1000ish in hand. Better s[pent on a holiday me thinks[/p][/quote]footie supporters must have really good jobs to fork out this every week!! sperduti

3:23pm Sun 9 Feb 14

ohc says...

The reality is, irrespective of the worst storms in yonks, that when considering the move to Rodney Parade, the Club business management should have taken into account that a pitch, near a river, with three teams using it regularly represented a high risk in poor weather. The drainage (be it pitch or run off) should have been fully installed, covers awaiting, and contingency plans put together for dealing with extra work that might be necessary.

It seems none of that was done and if it is correct, it is almost a crime
It is a consistent pattern with Newport Count over the years that its off field or business management just doesn't seem ever to be up to the mark
The reality is, irrespective of the worst storms in yonks, that when considering the move to Rodney Parade, the Club business management should have taken into account that a pitch, near a river, with three teams using it regularly represented a high risk in poor weather. The drainage (be it pitch or run off) should have been fully installed, covers awaiting, and contingency plans put together for dealing with extra work that might be necessary. It seems none of that was done and if it is correct, it is almost a crime It is a consistent pattern with Newport Count over the years that its off field or business management just doesn't seem ever to be up to the mark ohc

4:37pm Sun 9 Feb 14

larneman says...

From what I've seen of it from over here this guy Boddy could'nt organise his way out of the boardroom. (we were warned about him) so sorry to see such a mess being made of it. My heart goes out to the volunteers who I feel have been let down a bucketful. by the boardroom. Ok they can't stop the weather but surely they can prepare for it.
From what I've seen of it from over here this guy Boddy could'nt organise his way out of the boardroom. (we were warned about him) so sorry to see such a mess being made of it. My heart goes out to the volunteers who I feel have been let down a bucketful. by the boardroom. Ok they can't stop the weather but surely they can prepare for it. larneman

6:10pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Frankfurt says...

County say dome covers going up tomorrow. Too late for Tuesday I think but could help us a lot if left on for a week to give the pitch a chance to dry out.
County say dome covers going up tomorrow. Too late for Tuesday I think but could help us a lot if left on for a week to give the pitch a chance to dry out. Frankfurt

6:18pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Frankfurt says...

ohc wrote:
The reality is, irrespective of the worst storms in yonks, that when considering the move to Rodney Parade, the Club business management should have taken into account that a pitch, near a river, with three teams using it regularly represented a high risk in poor weather. The drainage (be it pitch or run off) should have been fully installed, covers awaiting, and contingency plans put together for dealing with extra work that might be necessary.

It seems none of that was done and if it is correct, it is almost a crime
It is a consistent pattern with Newport Count over the years that its off field or business management just doesn't seem ever to be up to the mark
Few football clubs have rain covers. it is only now that they are rushing out to get them. The RP pitch had a high reputation and it was rare for a rugby match to be postponed because of water-logging. County experienced problems within a few months of moving to RP. I think its frailty as exposed by playing football on it has surprised everyone except maybe the RP groundsman who I know didn't want 3 teams playing on the pitch. So I don't think anyone is to blame for the initial lack of preparation to cope with heavy rain. And it was planned that work done last summer would solve the problem. Unfortunately it hasn't.
[quote][p][bold]ohc[/bold] wrote: The reality is, irrespective of the worst storms in yonks, that when considering the move to Rodney Parade, the Club business management should have taken into account that a pitch, near a river, with three teams using it regularly represented a high risk in poor weather. The drainage (be it pitch or run off) should have been fully installed, covers awaiting, and contingency plans put together for dealing with extra work that might be necessary. It seems none of that was done and if it is correct, it is almost a crime It is a consistent pattern with Newport Count over the years that its off field or business management just doesn't seem ever to be up to the mark[/p][/quote]Few football clubs have rain covers. it is only now that they are rushing out to get them. The RP pitch had a high reputation and it was rare for a rugby match to be postponed because of water-logging. County experienced problems within a few months of moving to RP. I think its frailty as exposed by playing football on it has surprised everyone except maybe the RP groundsman who I know didn't want 3 teams playing on the pitch. So I don't think anyone is to blame for the initial lack of preparation to cope with heavy rain. And it was planned that work done last summer would solve the problem. Unfortunately it hasn't. Frankfurt

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