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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 11, 2010

Premier League to defend match postponements

The Premier League will defend themselves vigorously if questions are asked regarding the number of postponements at the weekend as attention turns to rescheduling matches.

After the recent cold snap across the country only two matches went ahead, Arsenal's draw with Everton and Birmingham's clash against Manchester United, but television pictures showed the surrounding areas of Upton Park being clear of snow despite West Ham's match with Wolves being scratched.

League officials will explain matches were called off after police advice and while stadiums could be declared clear on the day, that may not be the case for roads around the venues.

Clubs are now set to liaise on when to play the postponed matches, with league games the last in the order of priority after UEFA competitions, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup.

Rescheduling is also complicated by an alleged informal agreement with UEFA not to play matches on the same evenings as Champions League or Europa League clashes, although Fulham recently travelled to Basle on the same night as four domestic top-flight fixtures.

Matches could be played on FA Cup fourth or fifth round days between sides knocked out of the competition, and league officials also see spaces in the calendar on March 24, April 14 and May 5.

The season finishes on May 9, and there is no possibility of an extension due to the World Cup finals.

With Spurs' clash against Liverpool postponed this weekend, Harry Redknapp said: "They are talking about playing it in two weeks and suddenly we have got five games in 14 days.

"You never know, it can work in anyone's favour if you catch it right. We have seen it many times when teams end up playing six games in 14 days suddenly and it gets difficult towards the end of the season.

"It makes or breaks their season so we will just have to wait and see.''

Tuesday's FA Cup games at Accrington Stanley, Notts County and Brentford, as well as the Football League matches at Walsall, Aldershot and Bury, have already bitten the dust. All the Scottish Cup games are off.

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