Carlisle United have been forced to cancel their home match against Hartlepool after failing to find an alternative venue.
Currently without a home stadium due to the floods, the Cumbrian club will play at Preston’s Deepdale on Saturday when they are at ‘home’ to Notts County.
Then on 2 January they will be moving on to Blackburn’s Ewood Park when they face Plymouth at ‘home’.
In between those two matches, Carlisle United were due to host Hartlepool United, arguably their biggest game of the season and the closest thing they have to a ‘derby’, with it taking place in the festive period they would have hoped for a bumper crowd if they’d found the right venue…
However, in a statement from the club, Carlisle say that they ‘consulted a number of clubs about hosting the match but, due to a range of factors, unfortunately we could not find a suitable venue that also meets safety needs’.
There had been media claims that Newcastle United’s St James Park was under consideration to host the game and many Newcastle fans welcomed the idea and hoped the club would be able to help out Carlisle. With NUFC away at West Brom on the 28th it meant St James Park was free, plus the location was surely ideal as it falls in between the two clubs.
Last week hopes were raised further when Carlisle United media officer Andy Hall revealed:
“They (Newcastle United) offered training facilities, strips, kits, anything that we needed that wasn’t going to be in place for us to move forward as a football team.
“It takes your breath away. They are a Premier League club and they didn’t have to do that, but they’ve offered it up.”
You would hope that Newcastle’s offer of help did include the use of St James Park and that possibly it was the ‘safety needs’ that prevented the novelty of a Carlisle v Hartlepool clash on Tyneside
OFFICIAL CARLISLE UNITED STATEMENT
Popular home clash postponed until February
Carlisle United Football Club can confirm that our festive fixture with Hartlepool United, scheduled for Monday 28 December, has been postponed due to a number of factors outside of the club’s control in the wake of last weekend’s unprecedented flooding event.
A new date for this popular fixture has been agreed with The Football League for Tuesday 23 February, with a 7.45pm kick off time.
Director of external affairs John Nixon said: “Our admin staff have explored every avenue available and have become extremely frustrated that we could not get this fixture to go ahead.
“We consulted a number of clubs about hosting the match but, due to a range of factors, unfortunately we could not find a suitable venue that also meets safety needs. Consequently we have had to take the least favourable option of postponing the fixture until February.
“We would like to thank all of those who entered into discussions with us, and The Football League for their assistance and advice.”
Pools chief executive Russ Green added: “We would like to thank Carlisle United for the efforts made in trying to allow this fixture to go ahead and for keeping us up to date throughout the process.
“We know they tried everything in their power to try and get things organised that would be suitable for both clubs and both sets of fans.
“The events in Cumbria bring football in to perspective and we would like to pass on our best wishes to everyone affected by the flooding.”