FOREST Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper says the English Football League should not allow rugby and football to be played over the same weekend at Rodney Parade.

Cooper was angry after yesterday’s League Two clash with Newport County AFC was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

The Rovers boss disagreed with referee Christopher Sarginson’s decision to call off the match after a pitch inspection at 1.15pm on Saturday.

Cooper felt the pitch was playable but he also claimed that Friday night’s Pro14 match between the Dragons and Glasgow Warriors (below) had contributed to the postponement.

South Wales Argus:

“It’s not Newport County’s fault,” he said. “But how you allow rugby teams to play on the same pitch as a Football League team [is beyond me]. And they don’t even play alternative weeks.

“They had a game of rugby on a Friday night before a Football League game and they wonder why there’s a puddle on the pitch.

“It’s horrendous. What do you expect? Sort it out.

“They’ve spent a lot of money on the pitch and it’s common sense – arrange the fixtures at the start of the season so that if the rugby team are at home, the football team are away.

“You might have a chance of getting a game on then, or having a really good pitch.”

Cooper may not have been aware that Principality Premiership side Newport RFC also play their home games at Rodney Parade, which makes fixture negotiations even more complicated.

Next weekend the city centre venue is due to host Newport v Llanelli on Friday night, the Exiles v Notts County on Saturday and the Dragons v Treviso on Sunday.

Speaking after the postponement, County manager Michael Flynn said: “I don’t think the rugby game on it last night helped at all.

“I’m frustrated not to play but I think the referee has made the right decision for the right reasons – for the safety of the players.

“For that reason I think that it was the right call.

“And I didn’t want to start the game and then have it called off at half-time.”

South Wales Argus:

Cooper (above, left) was not so understanding when asked if it was the right decision.

“I understand where Newport are coming from – they’ve had a tough game on Wednesday and we’d be the same – but the referee has made a decision purely on the forecast,” he said.

“I’m not really sure why. I think he talked himself out of it – he probably wanted to watch the rugby.

“You’ll have to ask the referee why he’s called it off.

“It’s their home game and they’re entitled to do what they want.

“We’re here and we want to play because we’re prepared but the referee is in charge.

“If the referee wants to make himself look silly then let him get on with it.

“I said to the referee we might as well wait until 2.45pm but he was adamant – I don’t think he wanted to get wet.”