Football - Foxes issue statement to answer criticism

Leicester have responded to criticism from supporters after thousands of Foxes fans were unable to attend the npower Championship clash against promotion rivals Middlesbrough.

PA Sport

Friday night's fixture, broadcast live on television and resulting in a 1-0 win for the hosts, was attended by just 8,585 people as snow prevented many from getting to the King Power Stadium.

Leicester's average home attendance in the league this season is in excess of 22,000 and many home supporters felt the match should have been postponed.

The Foxes have issued the following statement with regard to the game's fulfilment: "The club is very mindful that, due to the weather-related conditions on Friday night, a large number of fans were unable to attend the game as they had planned.

"The club understands the disappointment of these fans and would like to take the opportunity to clarify the procedures and regulations surrounding the fulfilment of games, so that all of our loyal supporters have a complete and accurate understanding of the obligations of all clubs when hosting a home fixture - and the circumstances of last Friday in particular.

"In anticipation of adverse weather in the build-up to the game, the club took every possible precaution to ensure that the fixture went ahead, while liaising regularly with the Football League, the match officials, the relevant local authorities, Middlesbrough football club and supporters.

"Such advance planning, including the provision of additional personnel, resources and equipment throughout the day, coupled with the outstanding efforts of the club's grounds, stadium and safety staff, ensured that the King Power Stadium was fully operational, despite the onset of heavy snow during Friday afternoon in the hours prior to kick-off.

"It is the club's responsibility to ensure that the King Power Stadium is in an appropriate condition for its home fixtures to be fulfilled. As a consequence of the successful preparation, the match officials decided that the game should go ahead, albeit with a delay to the kick-off time to allow for Middlesbrough's disrupted journey.

"While we appreciate that, very regrettably, the adverse weather made it difficult for a significant number of supporters to attend the game, only the match officials, the city's Safety Advisory Group or the police can initiate a postponement.

"The club would like to express its sincere appreciation to the supporters that did make it to the game and contributed to an important result for the team, which subsequently saw us finish the weekend in the automatic promotion places."

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