Rochdale’s Championship opener with Batley postponed

Rochdale Hornets have been forced to postpone their opening Championship fixture with Batley.

The Hornets have cited “weather damage” as the reason for the cancellation, with the club’s Spotland pitch unplayable.

It comes after a “dome type pitch cover” was installed by Rochdale AFC to try and dry the pitch, which would allow vital drainage repairs to take place.

The football club is set to play Millwall in an FA Cup fourth round replay on Tuesday evening.

The club has yet to confirm a new date for the fixture.

Rochdale Hornets CEO Steve Kerr said: “We are extremely disappointed that our season opener has to be called off and we share the fans frustrations, however the situation with the pitch is not going to change between now and Sunday.

“Alan, his staff and all of the squad have worked extremely hard throughout pre-season and have prepared well for the Batley game. The early decision will help the squad focus their attention on next Sunday’s away clash at Swinton.

“We have worked alongside the football club over the past three weeks to prepare the pitch, however, it’s the fourth fixture that has been postponed in the last two weeks so we recognise the importance of the emergency maintenance work and support the current plan that is in place.

Rochdale AFC CEO, Russ Green said: “Rochdale Football Club would like to thank Rochdale Hornets for their continued support and co-operation.

“We have been in regular dialogue with Hornets regarding all pitch decisions, and the relationship between the two clubs has never been stronger.

“We understand Hornets’ frustrations in losing their first game of the season, however we are grateful to them for recognising the importance of the work that is currently being carried out.

“We wish Alan, his staff and players the very best of luck for the season ahead.”