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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Games at Everton, Man City off

The Premier League matches at Everton and Manchester City have been called off due to gale force winds which are sweeping the north west of England.

A programme stand is stricken on its side as a supporter runs through the wind and driving rain at the Etihad.
A programme stand is stricken on its side as a supporter runs through the wind and driving rain at the Etihad.

City were hoping to return to the top of the Premier League by beating Sunderland at the Etihad, but the game was postponed little more than an hour before the scheduled kickoff.

The match at Goodison Park, where Everton were due to play host to Crystal Palace, was an even later postponement, called off just 30 minutes before kickoff.

England is experiencing one of its wettest winters in history and is currently being battered by winds in excess of 100mph, leading to concerns about the safety of fans both around the stadium and travelling home from the matches.

City captain Vincent Kompany announced the decision on his official Twitter account just over an hour before kickoff.

Greater Manchester Police also confirmed the match will not go ahead following the weather that has battered the north west of England

A statement from City read: "Manchester City can confirm that this evening's fixture versus Sunderland has been postponed due to exceptional and escalating weather.

"The safety of those in around and travelling to the stadium complex cannot be guaranteed. This decision has been made by the Safety Officer and Greater Manchester Police. Both managers and the match officials understand and support this decision."

Stoke's meeting with Swansea at the Britannia Stadium was also subject to a second pitch inspection but went ahead, although kickoff was delayed 15 minutes.

Everton later released a statement on their official website which read: "Everton officials will speak to the Premier League on Thursday morning to open discussions on when the rearranged game with Crystal Palace can take place.

"The game was postponed on Wednesday evening due to damage sustained to buildings surrounding the stadium and safety concerns for spectators visiting Goodison Park.

"Supporters should note that match tickets, season tickets and hospitality tickets for tonight’s fixture (Wednesday 12 February, 2014) will be valid for the rearranged game. The Club will communicate in due course the new date of the fixture and any additional ticket information."

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