Snow strikes UK games
Heavy snow and freezing temperatures wreaked havoc with the Premier League on Saturday, forcing the postponement of four out of six fixtures.
Wigan's home match against Aston Villa and Liverpool's late game against Fulham were both axed due to heavy overnight snow before Birmingham's tie with Newcastle at St Andrews was called off, club officials confirmed. Shortly afterwards, Arsenal's game with Stoke at the Emirates became the fourth casualty of the weather as a blizzard swept across London.
Although Anfield's pitch is protected by undersoil heating, a Liverpool spokesman said the game was called off after police warned of treacherous conditions around the ground with sub-zero temperatures forecast for later.
"Club officials met with the police this morning to assess the prevailing weather conditions," said a Liverpool spokesman. "The safety of all fans attending the game is paramount and although the Anfield pitch is playable, the conditions around the stadium and further afield for people travelling to the match are such that the decision was taken, following police advice on safety grounds, to postpone the game."
The Latics earlier issued a statement confirming their game had been postponed, citing "freak snow" as the reason. Birmingham also cited safety concerns for the decision to call off their game, saying the decision had been taken despite round the clock work efforts by the Blues ground staff to make the pitch playable.
The postponements left only two games to be played across the Premier League on Saturday, with Sunderland facing Bolton at the Stadium of Light in the early kick-off and Blackburn due to face West Ham at Ewood Park.
In Scotland, Hamilton's home game with Celtic became the fourth Scottish Premier League match to fall victim to the weather after the Rangers-St Mirren, Aberdeen-Motherwell and St Johnstone-Dundee United games were postponed yesterday.