Fan Safety Was Key
CEO Robert Elstone discusses Wednesday's postponement.
Everton CEO Robert Elstone has confirmed the safety of fans was the key factor in the decision to postpone Wednesday night's game with Crystal Palace.
Adverse weather conditions hit Merseyside in the lead-up to kick-off and the Club took the decision to call the game off when it became apparent building damage surrounding the stadium was putting spectator safety at risk.
He told evertonfc.com: "We were monitoring it minute by minute throughout the day. I kept in constant contact with the head of our safety team, David Lewis, regularly.
"About 6.45pm everything was fine and then I was surprised to hear 10 minutes later that a chimney stack had come down leading into Goodison Road. Tiles were coming off the roof of the Winslow (pub) and at that point Goodison Road had to be shut for very obvious reasons. Goodison Road is clearly the busiest road pre-game and at five minutes to kick-off it would have been packed with fans. We couldn’t run the risk, obviously, of anything coming off the roofs on the Winslow or any of the houses and potentially causing a major injury or fatality."
Having taken the decision to cancel the fixture, the CEO will now turn his attention to the challenge of rescheduling the game against Tony Pulis' Crystal Palace.
He added: "What we need to now is first of all talk about rescheduling the fixture and communicating with all the fans affected and the lounge guests about what the alternative arrangements are.
"Apologies go out to the fans because some of them had an horrendous journey getting here. It says a lot about their dedication and my apologies go out to them but I’m sure all fans will understand the reasons why. We have to put fan safety at the top of every decision we make."