Rochdale Hornets


12th March 2019, 12:09


ROCHDALE Hornets would like to provide supporters with further information following the late postponement of Sunday’s Betfred Championship fixture against York City Knights.

The club wishes to address rumours and hearsay that has appeared on social media overnight and throughout Monday.

The game was cancelled due to legitimate safety concerns at the Crown Oil Arena raised by stadium ground staff. High winds meant it was dangerous to remove the protective dome, and erect the rugby posts.

An unsuccessful attempt was made to erect the posts at the Sandy Lane end of the ground and as time moved on, a decision was made by the head groundsman, in conjunction with the ground safety officer that the game would need to be cancelled. Rochdale Hornets are reliant on the expertise of qualified safety professionals to make these safety assessments, and as such, we are supportive of the decision made.

It is important to recognise that players and officials from both Rochdale and the York club wanted the game to go ahead. Both sets of players were already changed into their kit ready to warm-up and everyone shares in the frustration of not being able to play Sunday’s game.

As a club, we extend our sincere apologies to all supporters who arrived to support their teams in what should have been an afternoon of quality rugby league, in particular the large number of York City Knights fans.

Although the club were not made aware of the safety concerns until early afternoon, we apologise unreservedly to all supporters, particularly those who travelled significant distances for a lack of communication and our inability to convey the potential risk to the game. 

The club have already submitted reports to the RFL operational department (Monday, March 11) and will continue to assist them with their investigation into the circumstances around Sunday’s cancellation.

We do, however, strongly disagree that the match points should be awarded to York City Knights.

Rochdale Hornets believe the correct course of action would be to rearrange the game. Two points should always be won or lost over the course of 80 minutes, and we believe there is sufficient time remaining in the season to work together and play the game that the supporters were excited to be a part of. 

Finally, Rochdale Hornets will continue to work closely with the stadium management company to ensure we never have a repeat of Sunday and positive discussions have already begun.

As a club we have had a disastrous start to the season with two home matches already cancelled through no fault of Rochdale Hornets. As a community, now more than ever, we need to come together to ensure this doesn’t have a severe impact on the club moving forward. Our coaches, players and staff have started the campaign well and deserve your support. We remain fully committed to competing in the Betfred Championship.


On behalf of the Board of Directors.