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Welsh Premier: Secretary suggests pushing split back to February as ice impacts fixtures

WITH the winter weather playing havoc with the fixture card, the Welsh Premier League is considering moving the split back to early February.

The Principality’s top flight was due to split in two halves on January 15, with the top six fighting for European places – and being safe from dropping any lower – and the bottom six all scrapping against relegation for the final 11 games.

But a fixture backlog caused by frozen pitches and snow has forced the league to consider pushing the split back.

A meeting was due to take place on Tuesday but the weather meant it was postponed but Welsh Premier secretary John Deakin is proposing delaying the split until the first week in February.

Deakin is contacting members to make a proposal to try and get the measure approved as soon as possible.

“We have virtually an unmanageable backlog and looking at the weather forecast, it looks inevitable that we are going to lose Boxing Day games as well,” he said.

“I will therefore be proposing an extension to manage this.”

Another part of the plan is that if the Boxing Day games are lost, they will be played on Saturday, February 5, which would be the last games before the split.

This would allow other outstanding fixtures to be played on the weekend of the Loosemores Challenge Cup final on Saturday, January 22.

For those clubs already out of the Welsh Cup, the following weekend could also be used as well as midweek dates throughout January.

Airbus UK Broughton saw their matches at Newtown on Saturday and Aberystwyth Town on Tuesday both postponed due to the weather and their Boxing Day clash at home to Bala is in jeopardy.

In the Huws Gray Alliance Flint Town United’s clash with Ruthin Town, Gap Connah’s Quay’s trip to be reunited with Chris Herbert and Wes Kilgannon at Technogroup Welshpool, Buckley Town’s visit to Llandudno and Rhydymwyn at Guilsfield were all called off as the Alliance fell victim to the frosty weather.

The Welsh Grounds Improvement scheme has offered grants to Buckley Town and Flint Town United. Clubs have until January 7 to accept the offers.

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