Writer: Dale Jenkins
Date:Sunday December 29 2013
Wycombe Wanderers P-P Fleetwood Town
This afternoon's game with Fleetwood Town was postponed by referee Andy Davies at 2.45pm, incredibly just fifteen minutes before the game was due to kick off!
Ironically this was the same referee that abandoned the Bristol Rovers game last season.
Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander said it was the correct decision, and reportedly players from both sides refused to warm up on the surface.
A series of confusing messages released to supporters throughout today's omnishambles will have done the club significant harm and it certainly feels like a new low.
An initial pitch inspection at the ludicrously late time of 1.30pm was inconclusive as the club announced a further inspection would commence at 2pm.
At 2pm a club spokesman charged into the Vere Suite bar and announced to supporters that the game would definitely be ON with a kick off time of 3pm.
Shortly after, a message from the club's Twitter feed then read ''Game going ahead as planned at the moment. The two teams will warm-up and the final decision will be made after that''.
The club continued to sell tickets for the match, charge for programmes and parking, whilst fans were refused entry to the ground as the players warmed up.
After yet another inspection at the quite frankly farcical time of 2.40pm, the referee eventually called the game off, to the fury of many supporters.
With Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Trust taking over the club in 2012 there was genuine hope that communication and consideration of and with fans would improve. This has happened, but today was twenty steps backwards, was a shambles from start to finish and presumably there will be an investigation into how this mess was allowed to unfold from a professional organisation.
The reason given is that the pitch was deemed unplayable after several pitch inspections, but with undersoil heating at Adams Park, questions needed to be asked as to why it wasn't turned on earlier and the pitch made playable.
If Wycombe Wanderers have undersoil heating but can't afford to use it, why do they still have it? One would presume there are maintenance costs.
If the undersoil heating was, as is reported, turned on late in the day, then why was the weather forecast not heeded and the relevant action taken the previous day? Why not wait until 3.30pm or 4pm to save the Fleetwood fans a wasted journey and kick off when the pitch was ready?
The referee should also be questioned for being so indecisive and making fans, many of whom made big sacrifices to attend today, wait for such a long time only to go back on their initial decision.
The Opposition view will be cancelled this week as presumably the Fleetwood fans that have travelled 250 miles and a seven hour round trip to watch a game of football have views on the situation that are most probably unprintable.
The Wycombe fans themselves were understandably fuming.
Reaction from a selection of WWFC fans on Twitter:
@1973dif said: ''Will there be any compensation for all the fans that travelled to be told 15 min before ko the game is off?''
@Jrwwfc said: ''Why was the announcement made at 3pm and not 14.40, when the game was actually called off?'' The announcement from the club in the Vere Suite was a joke. ''Unfortunately it`s out of our hands'' Hardly, put the heating on yesterday?''
@ChrisWaldron76 ''Feel so sorry for the Fleetwood fans. We've got undersoil heating FFS''.
@nickwwfcpriest said: ''Never been more embarrassed to be a @wwfcofficial fan than I am today #onewycombe can **** off''.
@Lana_wwfc said: ''@wwfcofficial yet you let numerous people come into the bars telling us the game was definitely on?''
@phil_slatter said: ''It's the ref who made the decision but why was the undersoil heating not turned on yesterday?''
@Langbyrig said: ''Fan owned does not mean amateur @wwfcofficial we are a professional club - do not let this happen again. Apologies to Fleetwood fans''.
@ryandutton1 said: ''Just spent £50 on 2x tickets to watch @wwfcofficial and they call the game off #frozenpitch #undersoilheating''.
@superbowring said: ''@wwfcofficial where were the stewards handing back the £5 for the car park?'' ''undersoil? Cheaper to postpone? Not if people are too annoyed to come back!''
@apcwwfc said: ''I'm sorry to say it but today proves every point I`ve made about @wwfcofficial unorganised is an understatement!''
@RussWWFC said: ''No football for me today then, someone needs to be sacked for this @wwfcofficial''.
@philmullis said: ''Amateur incompetent faciles are some of the adjectives that come to mind`.
@Alky007 said: ''Got to feel for fans at Adams Park today. This sort of thing makes the club look a laughing stock''.
@davidpattison said: ''So instead of trying to get fans back we managed to p*** off the 3k we knew would be there''.
@dazzlindez said: ''#wycombewanderers in Panto Season we have Fred Karno's circus at Adams Park. Bewildering scenes twenty minutes before kick off''.
@WoodwardBen said: ''Only game in the country off, they`re even playing down the Rye! #onesmess Tinpot''
@EdGoode said: ''To be fair` I think the ref has to shoulder most of the blame. No excuse for being told the game was on at two tho''.
@DLster said: ''Feel sorry for the Fleetwood fans, trekking over to Wycombe just to be told 20 minutes before kick off the game was off. Joke''.
@jamleeroberts said: ''Wycombe postponing their game because of a frozen pitch!! We have under soil heating! Defo something wrong at the club''.
@HayleyGee7 said: ''I apologise to all Fleetwood fans who travelled miles to Wycombe Wanderers today. We are embarrassed at our club`s disorganisation''.
@kerlmann said: ''@wwfcofficial: Pathetic inept decision. Why have the undersoil heating and not turn it on?''
@clifty04 said: ''Embarrassing. Shambles. Pathetic @wwfcofficial''.
@JoBlueQuarters said: ''somebody has to answer for this? Never going to attract new fans / income with organisation like this''.
@SarahWWFC said: ''wycombe wanderers have definitely messed up big time today, calling the game off at 2.40. Fleetwood fans, I apologise, you must be fuming!''
@JoeShennan said: ''Why, as has been reported, did someone come into the Vere Suite and announce the game was on? Fans come last #wycombewanderers''.
@JoeShennan said: ''Who's decision was it to not put undersoil heating on until this morning (as has been reported) We need an explanation #wycombewanderers''
@JoeShennan said: ''One of the most embarrassing episodes in the history of #wycombewanderers. The fans have come dead last this afternoon''.
@swearmeister said: ''just when you start to feel like a fan again, you are suddenly back to the dark days of product and customers''.
Vital Wycombe would like to apologise to the Fleetwood fans for their wasted journey today.
Date:Sunday December 29 2013
The Opposition View - Fleetwood Town (Tuesday April 22 2014)
Toothless Blues squander glorious chance (Monday April 21 2014)
Relegation Round-up (Two games to go) (Monday April 21 2014)
Stats: Fleetwood Town v Wycombe Wanderers (Monday April 21 2014)
Preview: Fleetwood Town v Wycombe Wanderers (Sunday April 20 2014)
Relegation Round Up (Saturday April 19 2014)
The Opposition View - Northampton (Saturday April 19 2014)
Blues and Cobblers end all square (Friday April 18 2014)
Stats: Wycombe Wanderers v Northampton Town (Friday April 18 2014)
Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Northampton Town (Wednesday April 16 2014)
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