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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Birmingham avoid pitch punishment
The pitch at St Andrews on Friday 11 January
A photograph of the relaid pitch at St Andrews on 11 January
Birmingham have been cleared of misconduct after problems with a relaid pitch led to the postponement of a Championship match in January.

The pitch was relaid a week before the game against Leeds on 12 January but, after a week of torrential rain in the Midlands, it was not ready for use.

Blues chairman David Gold said that "common sense had prevailed".

The Football League disciplinary commission could have deducted points or imposed a large fine.

I am absolutely delighted

Birmingham chairman David Gold

But it concluded that the poor state of the pitch could not be avoided.

"The postponement of the game was caused by circumstances beyond the control of Birmingham City, namely freak weather conditions," said a Football League statement.

"Those conditions could not reasonably have been foreseen or anticipated before the pitch was taken up and occurred before the relaying could be completed."

Chairman Gold added: "I am absolutely delighted. How could there be a case when we had done everything possible in the period leading up to the Leeds game to ensure the pitch would be relaid and ready to play on?

"Unfortunately we encountered some of the most extreme amounts of rain in a short period of time in recent history.

"It was bad luck and you can't go around blaming people when the issues are out of their control.

"We even brought in the Football League's own pitch expert to assist us and help us do the right thing. We have always believed we did nothing wrong and it is good news for the club."

Birmingham took the decision to relay the pitch after striker Nicklas Bendtner suffered a serious ankle injury on the previous surface during an FA Cup tie with Newcastle.

The Championship side purchased the spare pitch for the new Wembley at a cost of more than 100,000 and were assured it would be relaid and ready to play on in the space of four days.

SEE ALSO
League probes Blues' postponement
12 Jan 07 |  Birmingham City


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