Fears over fixture pile-up as more games face axe

PREMIER LEAGUE chiefs have moved to ease fears of a fixture pile-up as extreme weather threatens to wipe out further fixtures.

Heavy snowfall claimed seven of the nine top flight games at the weekend, while some of the Boxing Day schedule is already under threat.

Blackpool, who postponed their clash with Tottenham on Sunday, are already considering calling off the visit of Liverpool on 26 December.

“We can almost certainly guarantee the pitch will be playable but it is the prevailing conditions once the covers have been removed and whether the pitch will freeze before the end of the game taking place,” said chairman Karl Oyston. The Seasiders also had to call off a home game against Manchester United because of a frozen pitch earlier this month, meaning a backlog is threatening to build up.

Champions League sides are short of dates on which rearranged fixtures can be scheduled. United also have to set a new date for their trip to Chelsea, which was postponed at the weekend. There are fewer free dates available this season because the Champions League last 16 round is taking place over four weeks, and the Premier League has an agreement not to play on those nights.

A Premier League spokesperson said: “Our football department will already have contingency dates in mind and will work closely with the affected clubs to get new dates agreed as quickly as possible.”