First game at new stadium delayed AGAIN – after York City’s opponents refuse to play

9 Feb 2021 @ 7.32 pm
| Sport

An already deeply difficult season for York City just got even more frustrating.

Their much-delayed first game at the new LNER Community Stadium was due to take place this Saturday (13 February).

But the fixture has been called off – because opponents Farsley Celtic refuse to play.

City were all ready to take to the untouched pitch. But then they received this statement from Farsley: “Further to our statement published on Friday, we can confirm that our view regarding the recommencement of the 2020/21 season remains the same.

“Therefore, we are unwilling to fulfil the two upcoming fixtures at home to Guiseley this evening and away at York City on Saturday.

“The league resolution and funding issues are yet to be confirmed; therefore, we do not feel that we can continue with the season at this point.”

Safety measures condemned

An aerial view of the LNER Community Stadium. Photograph: Town Pix / YouTube

On Friday, Farsley revealed they had voted to “null and void” the current Vanarama National League North season with immediate effect.

“The board has carefully considered the available options and reluctantly reached this decision on the grounds of safety and to protect the financial wellbeing of the club,” they said.

Teams “travelling around the country to fulfil fixtures without testing protocols and effective safeguards in place is not acceptable” the club said.

It added that “debate and argument over funding has still not reached a satisfactory resolution”.

Clubs in the National League, and the North and South divisions, have been asked to vote on the outcome of the season by the end of this month.

City want to play on. But the fixture congestion is now becoming a serious headache.

Their game tonight was called off because of a frozen pitch at Darlington. And City already have five matches in hand over league leaders Gloucester.

City have been waiting for years to play their first game in the new ground. A series of delays, some caused by Covid, have seen the first match moved back and back since City got the keys to the stadium in December.

Their next home game is now set to be on Tuesday, 16 February against AFC Fylde.