Football League 'concerned' by Rodney Parade postponements

South Wales Argus: Football League 'concerned' by Rodney Parade postponements. (Library picture) Football League 'concerned' by Rodney Parade postponements. (Library picture)

NEWPORT County AFC chief executive Dave Boddy says the club has been contacted by the Football League regarding the number of games postponed at Rodney Parade this season.

County have seen four home matches called off because of a waterlogged pitch since December 21 and are desperate to ensure that tomorrow’s clash with Fleetwood Town goes ahead as planned.

But the Exiles insist that the much-publicised ‘drainage issues’ at the ground they share with Newport RFC and the Newport Gwent Dragons are not to blame.

Boddy says that even if work on the pitch had been completed last summer they would still have lost matches to the weather because of the amount of rain that has fallen.

“January was the wettest on record so we need to stop banging on about the drainage,” said Boddy.

“We would have lost the New Year’s Day game and the Dagenham fixture even if the drainage work had been completed. The issue is the amount of rain, not the drainage.”

Club director Howard Greenhaf, whose background is in construction and civil engineering, added: “There are no drainage issues. There are more drains on that pitch than ever before.

“One half of the gravel banding wasn’t completed but the drains are there. It is the pure volume of water that means it’s not getting to the drains.”

Boddy was part of a team of staff and volunteers who covered the Rodney Parade pitch following Tuesday night’s Newport v Aberavon Welsh Premiership rugby fixture.

And he heaped praise on the fans that helped out in an effort to get tomorrow’s game on.

“It was my initiative to get the covers on because the forecast is horrendous,” said Boddy.

“We had 14mm of rain on Tuesday night and another 6mm on Wednesday morning and we’re getting pumps in now to get that water off the top of the covers.

“We’re hopeful that it will give us a chance of getting Friday’s game on because we can’t afford to lose another fixture.

“The Football League has written to us with their concerns and I’d really like to thank the volunteers who helped out with the covers.

“I was out there and it was horrific conditions,” he added. “We got soaked but it was a phenomenal effort and showed the spirit of the fans at this club.”

Mark Jones, head of operations at Rodney Parade, is just as frustrated by the persistent precipitation.

“I never envisaged we’d have this amount of rain,” said Jones. “I’ve been working here for 28 years and never known anything like this.

“There would be lots of pitches struggling with one team, let alone three playing on it.

“There will be as much water underneath the covers as there is on top so we we’ll see how it looks when we take them off on Friday morning.”

Comments (10)

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10:15am Thu 6 Feb 14

Roland Thompson-Gunner says...

Presumably the Football League thinks the club can influence the weather. The Somerset Levels must be about 20 miles away as the crow flies, has no-one at the FL been watching the news over the last couple of months?
Presumably the Football League thinks the club can influence the weather. The Somerset Levels must be about 20 miles away as the crow flies, has no-one at the FL been watching the news over the last couple of months? Roland Thompson-Gunner

10:24am Thu 6 Feb 14

andrew57 says...

why dont they try asking for lotto grant .
why dont they try asking for lotto grant . andrew57

10:34am Thu 6 Feb 14

Frankfurt says...

Roland Thompson-Gunner wrote:
Presumably the Football League thinks the club can influence the weather. The Somerset Levels must be about 20 miles away as the crow flies, has no-one at the FL been watching the news over the last couple of months?
The Football league want information in order to assess the situation. That's understandable. They've probably written to some other clubs as well.
[quote][p][bold]Roland Thompson-Gunner[/bold] wrote: Presumably the Football League thinks the club can influence the weather. The Somerset Levels must be about 20 miles away as the crow flies, has no-one at the FL been watching the news over the last couple of months?[/p][/quote]The Football league want information in order to assess the situation. That's understandable. They've probably written to some other clubs as well. Frankfurt

10:47am Thu 6 Feb 14

Roland Thompson-Gunner says...

Double the usual rainfall and the worst January since records began. They need to get out a bit more.
Double the usual rainfall and the worst January since records began. They need to get out a bit more. Roland Thompson-Gunner

11:26am Thu 6 Feb 14

jetspotter says...

In all fairness they would get out more if the weather wasn't so bad !
In all fairness they would get out more if the weather wasn't so bad ! jetspotter

12:32pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Clever Trevor says...

Everyone laughed at Gateshead last Season,now we have become the Heed of the FL
Everyone laughed at Gateshead last Season,now we have become the Heed of the FL Clever Trevor

12:40pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Roland Thompson-Gunner says...

Not a fair comparison. Gateshead weren't dealing with record rainfall and were in denial about how serious their situation was for weeks on end. They just busked their arrangements game by game, crossing their fingers and insisting the pitch would come good. It didn't. It was like a pub team might have approached it. County switched fixtures with them for Gateshead's own benefit early in the saga. Gateshead had had to do that with another club the previous season.
Not a fair comparison. Gateshead weren't dealing with record rainfall and were in denial about how serious their situation was for weeks on end. They just busked their arrangements game by game, crossing their fingers and insisting the pitch would come good. It didn't. It was like a pub team might have approached it. County switched fixtures with them for Gateshead's own benefit early in the saga. Gateshead had had to do that with another club the previous season. Roland Thompson-Gunner

3:06pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Newporttrue says...

Can't we play our games back over spytty park so we don't have to keep calling the games off, or is that waterlogged as well .??
Can't we play our games back over spytty park so we don't have to keep calling the games off, or is that waterlogged as well .?? Newporttrue

10:02am Fri 7 Feb 14

Frankfurt says...

Newporttrue wrote:
Can't we play our games back over spytty park so we don't have to keep calling the games off, or is that waterlogged as well .??
Newport Stadium is OK. Llanwern FC have been playing there. But it no longer complies with Football League standards now the demountable stands have been removed. Still the club could ask for an exception to be made.
[quote][p][bold]Newporttrue[/bold] wrote: Can't we play our games back over spytty park so we don't have to keep calling the games off, or is that waterlogged as well .??[/p][/quote]Newport Stadium is OK. Llanwern FC have been playing there. But it no longer complies with Football League standards now the demountable stands have been removed. Still the club could ask for an exception to be made. Frankfurt

10:08am Fri 7 Feb 14

llandaff says...

Frankfurt wrote:
Newporttrue wrote:
Can't we play our games back over spytty park so we don't have to keep calling the games off, or is that waterlogged as well .??
Newport Stadium is OK. Llanwern FC have been playing there. But it no longer complies with Football League standards now the demountable stands have been removed. Still the club could ask for an exception to be made.
Sad to say but for some weeks now RP has not come up to Football League standards either.
Time to call in Lord Smith of The Environment Agency. He would know what to do.........wouldn't he?
I just cannot believe this run of bad luck. It has to change soon!
[quote][p][bold]Frankfurt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Newporttrue[/bold] wrote: Can't we play our games back over spytty park so we don't have to keep calling the games off, or is that waterlogged as well .??[/p][/quote]Newport Stadium is OK. Llanwern FC have been playing there. But it no longer complies with Football League standards now the demountable stands have been removed. Still the club could ask for an exception to be made.[/p][/quote]Sad to say but for some weeks now RP has not come up to Football League standards either. Time to call in Lord Smith of The Environment Agency. He would know what to do.........wouldn't he? I just cannot believe this run of bad luck. It has to change soon! llandaff

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