Nottingham Forest FURIOUS with Bournemouth’s decision to postpone Championship fixture on Friday night… as the Cherries were set to be missing up to EIGHT players for the game
- Bournemouth vs Nottingham Forest was called off just four hours before kickoff
- The Cherries said that storm damage to the stadium made the match unplayable
- Forest pushed for it to be played on Saturday, which Bournemouth declined
- There was no EFL representative at the ground to provide clarity on the situation
Nottingham Forest are furious with Bournemouth’s decision to postpone Friday night’s Championship fixture at the Vitality Stadium.
The postponement – owing to reported damage to the stadium caused by Storm Eunice – was only confirmed at 4pm yesterday afternoon.
That was less than four hours before kick-off and when many Forest fans had already arrived on the south coast or were several miles into their journey. Steve Cooper and his squad had made the journey down on Thursday.
Barriers are shown blown over outside the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth on Friday
Sportsmail understands that Forest pushed for the game to go ahead and are frustrated that there was no EFL representative at the ground to provide clarity on the situation earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the Reds’ proposal to play the game on Saturday was declined by Bournemouth.
Bournemouth’s official club statement said: ‘Structural engineers have carried out an inspection of the stadium and have confirmed that the damage could pose a significant risk to supporters’ safety.
‘The ongoing impact of the storm means the damage cannot be repaired in time either to fulfil the fixture on Friday, or at a re-arranged time on Saturday.
‘The postponement was recommended by the club’s Safety Advisory Group.’
A trampoline pictured in a tree outside one of the stands at the Vitality Stadium on Friday
Storm Eunice brought widespread damage and disruption to the UK, with record wind speeds of 122mph recorded on the Isle of Wight – not too far from Bournemouth.
However, weather reports for the hours leading up to the game and during the game showed that the storm was set to subside and Forest were eager to get the game on.
‘There should have been an attempt to play the match on Saturday,’ a Forest club source told Sportsmail.
Many Forest fans had already arrived in Bournemouth when the postponement was confirmed
‘There was no EFL representative inside the stadium to make an informed decision. A few signs fell on the ground inside the stadium and the engineer said they were unable to get a cherry picker in to the stadium until Monday.
‘Forest were willing to play the game up until 2pm on Saturday, but Bournemouth declined the offer.’
Considering there was no other EFL fixture scheduled to be last night, it is unusual that there was no representative from the association at the Vitality Stadium.
Jefferson Lerma was one of eight players that Bournemouth were set to be missing on Friday
Forest’s frustrations also stem from the fact that Bournemouth will significantly benefit from the postponement as they currently have seven players out injured and Jefferson Lerma suspended.
The Cherries are currently second in the Championship, while Forest are one point outside the playoffs in seventh.
It is expected that the rearranged fixture will be played in early March.