Anger at council pitch conditions

Blackpool Road North Playing Fields, St Annes
Blackpool Road North Playing Fields, St Annes

SUNDAY League footballers were stunned to find their matches had been called off – after Fylde Council bosses forgot to put up goal posts.

The clubs were told their matches would not go ahead the day before their first game of the season, after pitches at Blackpool Road North were unprepared after their use as a car park during The Open golf championships at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Three games had to be cancelled following a lack of action by council staff.

Clubs pay around £350 a year for a pitch at the St Annes park, and one team manager, due to play on Sunday, was shocked by the news.

David Smyth, 65, from South Shore, coaches Number Four Celtic FC, who play their home games at Blackpool Road in Division Two of the Blackpool and Fylde Sunday Alliance (BFSFA). He said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. We were told the day before the game matches were postponed because posts hadn’t been put up and the pitches weren’t ready; it is crazy pitches aren’t ready on time and we are calling off games in August.”

Dennis Peters, fixtures secretary for BFSFA, confirmed he had emailed Fylde Council three weeks ago regarding the use of the pitches, saying they needed to be ready.

A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “We can only apologise for not informing the teams and will work with them to find pitches in the meantime.

“More than 3,000 cars parked on the pitches during The Open, leaving them rutted and muddy.

“We hope it is weeks rather than months before the pitches are ready to use.”