Toffees And The Weather!!!

It’s nice to see Arsenal agreeing to compensate travelling Trotters fans who heard about last Wednesday night’s postponement in their coaches on the way to the game. The match was called off just over four hours before kick-off. I hope the same offer will be made to all the Arsenal provincial supporters’ clubs who lost travel costs (not to mention an unnecessary time off work from their precious holiday allowances).
Why the game was called off is a wider question. One poster to my blog post-postponement on Wednesday suggested the fault lies in the Human Rights Act. Personally I think that’s wrong. I think there’s a lot of nonsense critical of that law written and spoken in this country, often by people who know better. The problem with human rights is most people don’t give a monkey’s about anybody’s rights but their own. I think we can safely dismiss the Human Rights Act as the cause of last Wednesday’s night’s postponement!
What is at fault I think is the dead hand of ultra-caution that seems to guide every decision taken in this country these days, reinforced by the increasingly litigious society in which we live. I for one am heartily sick of the number of advertisement for ambulance-chasing compensation bandits on television and the internet. That said, if we weren’t all going bonkers suing somebody every time we have an accident then we wouldn’t have the problem.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favour of health & safety awareness and management. Those of my age or older will remember the contempt and neglect with which our comfort and safety was considered (or not considered) by the clubs and football authorities until a series of disasters over thirty years from 1970 at Ibrox Park to 1989 at Hillsborough forced action, with the Government applying a well-needed boot in the rear end. We didn’t get everything right, notably the prohibition on standing areas in the top two divisions, but at least our grounds aren’t death-traps anymore.
Premier League rules also now require all clubs to have either undersoil heating (in which we were, as so often in the game, pioneers (along with Everton and Coventry City), installing our first system in 1964, or a heated pitch cover to keep the park playable. The problem now appears to be the approaches to the ground (pavements and roads) and our less-than-weatherproof public transport system and roads – wrong sort of rain/snow/sun/ice on the line and all that. Our ultra risk-adverse society has the police, public transport bodies and local councils panicking about accidents and subsequent writs flying from Messrs. Sue, Grabit & Run.
I wouldn’t want to be too much of a back-street driver on last Wednesday’s late postponement decision but I live about a mile from the Grove and was around the ground at around 6.00pm on that evening. The Tubes and buses were running and the roads and pavements leading to the ground were passable, with people hurrying home from work. Assuming the pitch was playable, I’m not sure what led to the postponement. We can only hope that tomorrow’s home game against Everton goes ahead. Aside from anything else we’ll be storing up a real fixture pile-up later on in the season if it doesn’t.
Let’s hope for three points tomorrow.
Keep the faith!

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