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Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

York's Bootham Crescent pitch has drainage 'problem'

Sophie Hicks
Sophie Hicks played a major role in saving York City in 2003

York City have defended their Bootham Crescent pitch after Saturday's game with AFC Wimbledon was called off.

The pitch was playable at noon, only for the game to be called off just an hour later as it was waterlogged.

"We've always had a problem with the drainage," communications director Sophie Hicks told BBC Radio York.

"We've spent quite a lot of money on the pitch over the years. But, in the last two seasons, it's done incredibly well in the conditions," she added.

"The referee was at the ground. It was just the persistent heavy rain in York. We had a real deluge.

"Wimbledon had arrived and they agreed with the referee's decision."

"The referee was 100 per cent right to call it off," said City manager Martin Foyle. "The rain settled on the pitch. We couldn't have called it off any earlier."

The club have operated for several years in the belief that they would vacate Bootham Crescent by 2012.

We invest in the pitch every close season, there will be thousands of pounds spent on the pitch in May, June time

Sophie Hicks

That ruled out large expenditure on solving the long-term drainage problem. But there have been recent suggestions that City may stay at Bootham Crescent after all, which Hicks says would change matters.

"We invest in the pitch every close season," she added. "There will be thousands of pounds spent on the pitch in May, June time.

"If we were going to stay at Bootham Crescent, then we would look at some major investment, as we would if the rugby league team were going to join us."

In the short-term, York's fixture pile-up has increased.

Foyle fears that the Wimbledon game "will probably go on a Thursday now".

And he is also concerned that Tamworth's visit this Saturday (27 March, 1500 GMT) might now be in doubt.

York are first in action against Kidderminster Harriers at Aggborough on Tuesday night (1945 GMT), when they will look to build on their 1-0 victory at Mansfield, which ended an untimely six-match winless run.

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see also
Foyle wants Trophy policy change
23 Feb 10 |  York
Fixture backlog grows for York
21 Feb 10 |  York
York facing away fixture pile-up
28 Dec 09 |  Non League
Another flood scare for Tadcaster
08 Dec 09 |  Non League

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