Nottingham Forest have made a formal complaint to the EFL about the decision to postpone Friday night’s Championship game at Bournemouth, just four-and-a-half hours before kick-off.
Bournemouth’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) produced a written report on Friday afternoon saying the game should be called off because of storm damage to the Vitality Stadium.
By that time, the Forest squad and several hundred traveling supporters from the East Midlands were already on the south coast, after a 200-mile drive.
Storm Eunice caused significant damage to the roof of the main stand, and left advertising hoardings and other debris loose around the stadium.
Sky Sports News has been told Forest have pointed out in their correspondence to the EFL that the postponement suited Bournemouth, whose squad was severely depleted, with seven first-team players injured.
Forest officials are thought to be furious that the game wasn’t played the following day, on Saturday afternoon, once the storm had passed.
Privately, Bournemouth are adamant the game was called off because of legitimate health and safety reasons – and it was the decision of the SAG, not the football club.
It’s thought Bournemouth’s SAG first suggested the game should be canceled on Thursday night, before the storm arrived, but EFL rules do not allow for postponements on the basis of a weather forecast.
A similar request for the game to be halted came at 10am on Friday morning, when a structural engineer, inspecting the damage, said it could not be fixed within 24 hours.
Steve Cooper’s side were desperate for the game to be played the next day once the storm had abated, at 2pm on Saturday, but that request was refused by the SAG.