Date: 8th January 2009 at 1:32pm
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It has been something that has crossed my mind more and more as the week has gone on, but the worry that our game with Citeh on Saturday could be called off due to the freezing conditions is now a distinct possibility…

Giant blowers have been brought in that are blowing hot air onto the pitch, which is under frost covers. Conditions dropped to -8 at the start of the week, and although it is still bitterly cold it is slightly warmer and is believed to be warming more as the week goes on.

Head grounds man Bob Jones had this to say to the Pompey Site: ‘we’ve got the blowers working day and night. Everyone’s working flat out to get the game on.’

These blowers have been in action since yesterday afternoon and will remain in action until Saturday morning I would assume?

The main worry I would have thought would be that as soon as these blowers are turned off and the covers removed, depending on how cold it remains at the weekend, the pitch could quickly freeze again? If so, as this will be genuinely dangerous the chances of any level of football being played, let alone top flight football are virtually zero….

I had been thinking to myself the other day ‘do we have under soil heating at Fratton?’

This seems to answer the question, as I would have thought that would have done the trick? Maybe I am wrong.

‘If’ we do not then some people might say ‘why not’, but having seen a lot about this due to so many games being called off recently it highlighted that this is very, very expensive to install let alone run – so something that might never be used was unlikely to be installed by us… That said I would expect that most, if not all other premier league clubs do have this. But on the other hand, most of them have newer stadiums/have been in the top flight much longer than we have…

I see that Birmingham have recently promised install under soil heating over the summer after a game was called off recently, should our game go the same way this weekend then I would suspect we would also do the same, although waiting until we move stadiums would seem more likely – but, is that ever likely in itself anyway…

A decision would probably not be made until Saturday morning, but maybe this could be made on Friday night, taking overnight conditions into account? The later it is made the more it will effect travelling fans – and Citeh fans will be making a long journey. I leave myself tomorrow, so I will be hoping that my visit will not only be one that sees me visiting my family!

Chances are I am worrying over nothing and the game will go ahead – hopefully the conditions will warm more over the next couple of days and these blowers and covers do the job they are intended to do.


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