It’s snow joke – Will Norwich City’s game at Barnsley on Saturday go ahead?
PUBLISHED: 13:20 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:07 01 March 2018
It’s been the question on the lips of most Norwich City supporters since they started dusting down their sledges – will Saturday’s Championship game against Barnsley at Oakwell go ahead?
There will be a pitch inspection at Oakwell, according to the Football League, but the short answer is we don’t know yet – but we can still wonder.
The snow and freezing conditions are certainly still causing their share of problems in Barnsley, as well as here in Norfolk; wind chill has been -8c around Oakwell.
However, those at the Tykes are understandably waiting for closer to the game to start working out seriously whether it can go ahead.
First things first, Oakwell does have undersoil heating – that at least gives the game a chance of taking place in a winter wonderland, in terms of the pitch.
A quick scout says December 2014 was the last time an Oakwell game was postponed, when Oldham were due to visit in League One – not caused by the initial snow but the subsequent sub-zero temperatures that turned it into ice and rendering the undersoil heating useless.
That currently appears to be a similar situation to the one forecast between now and Saturday, with temperatures both in Norfolk and Barnsley not set to poke their heads back above zero until well into Sunday.
Making the concourses and approaches outside Oakwell safe hasn’t proved a problem in recent years – although given this is the coldest February period in five years, that will be the key area tested come Saturday.
The Tykes momentarily announced Oakwell was closing early on Wednesday so staff could have a snowball fight. At least that’s one match that could be on if things don’t thaw between now and Saturday.
It seems unlikely the game would be postponed on the basis of the weather conditions for Norwich City fans leaving Norfolk to make the game in South Yorkshire – usually a 300-mile round trip: keep an eye on EDP24.co.uk for all the latest weather and travel updates in Norfolk.
As for the situation in Barnsley, the wind chill is set to remain well below zero – although no new snow flurries expected following Wednesday’s fall.
At least the current conditions have not come as a surprise, meaning whether the game takes place or not should be confirmed well before City fans have to set out from their Norfolk homes on Saturday morning to make kick-off.
Closer to home, City’s Under-23s Premier League 2 match with Fulham at Colney Training Centre on Friday has been postponed.
Roads in and around Colney are dangerous and the Training Centre is still covered in lots of snow, despite continuing efforts to remove it, and would therefore not be safe to host spectators or players and staff travelling to the game.
A new date for the match will be announced in due course.
The Under-18s and Under-16s fixtures with Reading, due to take place at the Reading Training Ground on Saturday, have also been postponed
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