Football teams in the north west are struggling to cope with the chaos caused as Storm Dennis struck at the weekend in the latest weather attack.
Parts of England and Wales have seen over a month’s worth of rain in just 48 hours, and on Sunday there was a record 594 flood warnings in place across the UK.
The severe weather is impacting not only travel and livelihoods, but also football, with 12 northern non-league fixtures postponed at the weekend from levels five to seven.
Liverpool FC Women recently made the decision to move their home games to Chester FC’s Deva Stadium, due to the severe pitch problems they were facing at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park.
George Delves, general manager at Chester, said: “We’re fortunate that we haven’t had a rain based postponement for a number of years as we look after the pitch well.
“Liverpool Women playing their games at our ground obviously gives us a financial boost, especially being a fan owned club.”
Liverpool chief executive officer Peter Moore emphasised the importance of having a reliable place to play.
He said: “It was important that we could provide certainty for this game for the fans, players and staff of both teams as well as meet all the requirements of the WSL.”
For most the weather has had a negative impact rather than positive – with clubs lower down the football pyramid particularly hard hit.
West Lancashire Premier Division side Turton FC have 14 of their 30 league games still to be played, despite the season starting eight months ago.
Tony Hesketh manages fellow Premier Division side Fulwood Amateurs, and he believes the issue is getting worse.
Tony, a former manager of Chorley and Lancaster, said: “Games being called off distorts the league table – you’re playing catch up for the rest of the season.
“Turton might seem well placed having games in hand, but they won’t have the number of players to cope with three and four games in a week which is the situation they now face.
“Over the past six or seven seasons there seems to be far more games not being played.”
This is a view shared by Graham Foxall, secretary and groundsman at Northern Premier League North West Division side Trafford FC.
Their home clash on Saturday against Marske United beat the elements – although games at Colne, Droylsden, Stalybridge, Ashton United and Radcliffe were called off.
“The problem is just going to keep getting worse. The climate is changing – we’re not getting as cold winters now and it’s just going to get wetter,” said Foxall, who has been at the club for 26 years.
“Clubs need to prioritise sorting out their drainage. I think this is going to be a massive problem in the years to come.”
The latest victim of mother nature was Crewe Alexandra’s under 23s game, which was scheduled to be played on Monday afternoon but was called off for the second time.