More fixture woe for Sheffield

James Gordon

Sheffield’s clash with Whitehaven will kick off at 12.30 tomorrow after yet more frustrating fixture woe for the Eagles.

The South Yorkshire club, who share their stadium with football club Rotherham United amongst others, often find the Don Valley Stadium booked up at weekends.

Previously, they have managed to schedule home fixtures for Friday nights, but following the RFL’s decision to allow opposition teams to veto fixture dates, the Eagles have suffered most.

Chairman Ian Swire said: “Another game, another kick-off time. I have to apologise to our supporters and those who have made the long trip from Cumbria for a Saturday 12.30 kick off but unfortunately we have been left with no choice. For the last seven seasons we have played almost all of our home games on a Friday evening as this was consistently the time that the stadium was made available to us and didn’t clash with other events here.

“It was extremely disappointing to find out at the start of the season that the RFL board of directors had taken a decision, without any representations sought from the affected clubs, that opposition clubs could veto Friday fixtures if it meant travelling long distances. We were never given the opportunity to state our case and have been left powerless to organise our fixtures in an orderly manner.

“The inability to play last night will cost us a lot of revenue at a time when we can least afford it. We are grateful to SIV for allowing us even a 12.30 kick off as the stadium has a booking for all of Saturday and Sunday  for the Race for Life – 10,000 runners and £750,000 raised last year for an extremely good cause.”

Sheffield are the only club to have claimed a point in every game this season, owing to their knak of winning bonus points in defeat. They are the only side to have beaten league favourites Halifax this season.