Rotherham vs Ipswich postponed due to flooding amid Storm Babet

20 October 2023 0 By Total Football News

Friday’s Championship game between Rotherham and Ipswich has been postponed due to flooding by the stadium amid Storm Babet.

The pitch at Rotherham’s New York Stadium is playable but the fixture, which was due to be shown live on Sky Sports, has been postponed on the grounds of supporter safety after the River Don burst its banks with further heavy rainfall scheduled on Friday evening.

A Rotherham statement read: “Rotherham United’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Ipswich Town has been postponed on the grounds of supporter safety following discussions with representatives from the Safety Advisory Group and the EFL which took place shortly after 4:30pm on Friday.

“After the River Don – which courses around the perimeter of AESSEAL New York Stadium – burst its banks, urgent discussions between representatives from the Safety Advisory Group/Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and club safety personnel and the EFL – were held with the conclusion deeming the weather conditions and their subsequent effect on the surrounding area a danger to supporters.

“This coupled with continued rainfall resulting in the flood waters rising and Don Street being closed to the public left the authorities with no choice but to postpone the game.

“Throughout the day the pitch at AESSEAL New York Stadium has remained playable but with the safety of everyone attending the match at the height of our priorities, the difficult decision to postpone the fixture has been taken.

“The decision was relayed to the EFL and our counterparts at Ipswich Town with all parties in agreement that postponing the fixture was the only possible way to ensure the safety of players, staff and supporters.

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“It goes without saying that we are obviously disappointed for supporters due to attend and those set to watch at home given the game was being broadcast live on Sky Sports.”

An Ipswich Town statement read: “Town’s Sky Bet Championship fixture away to Rotherham United, scheduled for 8pm this evening, has been postponed for safety reasons.

“The pitch at AESSEAL New York Stadium is playable, but areas outside the stadium are hazardous and more heavy rainfall is forecast this evening.

“The decision was made following an urgent meeting with the Safety Advisory Group which took place at 4.30pm today.

“Further details, regarding refunds and a new date for the fixture, will be released in due course.”

Seven SPFL games postponed due to Storm Babet

Aberdeen's match at home to Dundee is one of six off due to Storm Babet

Image: Aberdeen’s match at home to Dundee is one of seven off due to Storm Babet

Seven SPFL matches due to be played on Saturday have been postponed due to Storm Babet.

The move comes following conversations between league bosses, clubs and Police Scotland, after the Met Office red weather warning in the Tayside, Angus and Aberdeenshire areas was extended until the end of Saturday.

In the Scottish Premiership, Dundee’s trip to Aberdeen at Pittodrie and St Johnstone vs Motherwell in Perth are off.

Arbroath versus Raith Rovers and Greenock Morton against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Championship, plus Cove Rangers against Montrose in League One are also postponed.

Further games in League Two featuring Forfar Athletic’s trip to Elgin City and Stenhousemuir vs Peterhead are also off.

The SPFL will monitor events around all other fixtures – with new dates for those postponed games to be confirmed in due course.

Calum Beattie, SPFL chief operating officer, said: “We have been in close contact with Police Scotland and our clubs and it’s clear that we continue to face very severe weather, particularly in the North East, in the coming days.

“We never postpone any matches lightly, but our discussions with the emergency services left us in no doubt that this was the correct decision.”

Two people have died as a result of the storm, while the Met Office warning of a “danger to life from fast flowing or deep floodwater” in parts of Scotland, was extended until midnight on Saturday.

It now covers the Grampian and Central, Tayside and Fife regions. It had already been expanded to include Dundee, Perth and Kinross, as well as Angus and Aberdeenshire, where 20ft waves have been spotted on the coastline.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has five severe flood warnings, 11 flood alerts and 16 flood warnings in place, with the threat of “unprecedented” levels of rainfall in the northeast of Scotland.

It has warned rivers could rise by as much as five metres, in what has been described as an “extraordinary” weather event.

SEPA flood duty manager Pascal Lardet said: “There is exceptional rainfall forecast for parts of Scotland over the next 24 hours, and this will lead to significant flooding from both surface water and rivers.”