Arsenal give Bolton fans a boost
Given the weather that enveloped the south of England on Wednesday, the Trotters supporters who made the trip were unhappy that after repeated assurances the game would survive, it was eventually called off less than five hours before kick-off. As with the Carling Cup semi-finals at Blackburn and Manchester City earlier this week, the problem was nothing to do with the pitch. In each instance, local police were concerned about the safety of supporters getting to and from the stadiums and also problems which might be encountered in surrounding areas, many of which were badly affected by snow. Arsenal believe they acted responsibly but, as a gesture to Bolton, have agreed to pay the travel costs of supporters who were inconvenienced. Confirmation that Manchester United have rearranged their home game against Hull, a game that had to be postponed as part of the revision of fixtures required to ensure the Carling Cup semi-finals get played as quickly as possible, at least means the competition is only three matches behind schedule, two of which were originally caused by European qualifiers in August. However, Premier League officials hope the cold snap does not cause too much disruption over the coming days - more matches would have to be scheduled during Champions League weeks if it does. While it is not an explicit order such clashes occur - they have twice this season already - and the Premier League did decline to sign a memorandum of understanding sent out by UEFA pledging domestic competitions were not played at the same time, they prefer to avoid them if possible. There are a number of midweek dates available, but some are reserved for FA Cup replays and last season, when United reached the Carling Cup final, FA Cup semi-finals and advanced to the Champions League final in addition to contesting the World Club Cup, would have created a real headache if similar weather problems had been encounter. This time, three Carling Cup semi-finalists are not in Europe, while the other is now out of the FA Cup following Leeds' amazing win at Old Trafford.
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