Derby v Cardiff: EFL says postponement was 'correct' decision

Snow at Pride Park
Derby County are fifth in the Championship table, 14 points behind second-placed Cardiff City

Derby's decision to postpone their Championship game with Cardiff City on safety grounds was correct, says the English Football League.

The Rams said heavy snow meant the area surrounding their Pride Park stadium was in an "unsafe condition" on Sunday.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock said the decision was a "disgrace" and suggested the home side wanted the game called off because of an injury crisis.

An EFL statement said Derby had made "every effort" to play the game.

The statement added: "We remain satisfied that the decision to postpone the fixture was the correct one in the circumstances.

"From the information that has been assessed, it is clear that the decision to postpone the match was taken by the club but was reached following earlier consultation with the police, other emergency services and Derbyshire Council.

"The EFL was subsequently provided with a comprehensive report including a full risk assessment by Derby County as to the steps taken in the build-up to the decision being made.

"The safety and security of supporters attending matches has to be paramount."

The rearranged fixture will take place on Tuesday, 24 April.

Bluebirds 'not happy' and offer to reimburse fans

Cardiff City released two statements in response, saying they were "not happy" with the EFL's findings and criticising Derby for not compensating Bluebirds fans who travelled to Pride Park.

"Today's findings don't acknowledge the wasted efforts and expenditure incurred by those who travelled to the game last weekend," said Ken Choo, executive director and CEO.

"It was our contention that the very least we could expect from this investigation was that our supporters would be recompensed by Derby County: not as an admission of wrongdoing on their part, but as a simple human gesture and in the spirit of the game. For this not to be forthcoming has disappointed us more than anything."

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has pledged to reimburse those supporters who took officially organised coaches to the game.

They added in a separate statement: "We take comfort from the fact that the EFL have reminded Derby County of their responsibilities under the fixture protocol in this regard, in order to ensure the integrity of the competition is protected.

"We will comment further upon receipt of their detailed response to the points Cardiff City FC raised in the request for enquiry.

"Cardiff City supporters were those most affected by the postponement on the day and we hope their concerns are addressed."

Cardiff 'raised some exceptionally valid points'

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said the postponement had been "challenging, complex and difficult for a number of reasons" for both clubs.

He added: "Not least the early kick-off time which forced decisions to be made much earlier than is usual in these circumstances.

"As a result of this week's events, a number of important lessons have been learned and we will be working on some revised advice and guidance that will be issued to all 72 clubs in the event they are faced with a similar scenario.

"Whilst the EFL maintains the correct decision was ultimately taken by Derby County, it is important to note that in their submission, Cardiff City FC raised some exceptionally valid points that, quite rightly, will form part of our overall review.

"We will be putting the issue of match postponements on the agenda for our next Supporter Engagement Meeting that will take place before the end of the season in order to directly address these issues and to understand how we give the appropriate consideration to the fans who are affected by these decisions."

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