Nottingham Forest want EFL to investigate Bournemouth's decision to postpone Championship fixture

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Nottingham Forest want EFL to investigate Bournemouth’s decision to postpone Championship fixture… frustrated officials believe proper efforts were not made to get game on

  • Bournemouth vs Nottingham Forest was called off just four hours before kick-off
  • The Cherries claimed storm damage to the stadium put fans at ‘significant risk’
  • Forest pushed for it to be played on Saturday, which Bournemouth declined 


Nottingham Forest will ask the English Football League to investigate the events surrounding the postponement of Friday’s Championship game at Bournemouth.

The Cherries cited damage to the Vitality Stadium caused by Storm Eustice, which is said to have occurred on Friday morning, saying supporters could have been put at ‘significant risk’.

But Forest officials are understood to be frustrated by the postponement, believing that proper efforts were not made to get the game played on Saturday.

Barriers are shown blown over outside the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth on Friday

Barriers are shown blown over outside the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth on Friday

Their frustrations also stem from the fact that Bournemouth will significantly benefit from the postponement as they currently have seven players out injured and Jefferson Lerma suspended. 

Damage was reported to have occurred to the roof of the Main Stand and inside the stadium. The Cherries were not prepared to put staff at risk by using a cherry-picker in the high winds, to carry out repairs and to check for further damage. 

The postponement was only confirmed at 4pm on Friday.

That was less than four hours before kick-off and when many Forest fans had already arrived on the south coast or were several miles into their journey. Steve Cooper and his squad had made the journey down on Thursday.

A trampoline pictured in a tree outside one of the stands at the Vitality Stadium on Friday

A trampoline pictured in a tree outside one of the stands at the Vitality Stadium on Friday

Sportsmail understands that Forest pushed for the game to go ahead and are frustrated that there was no EFL representative at the ground to provide clarity on the situation earlier in the day. 

Meanwhile, the Reds’ proposal to play the game on Saturday was declined by Bournemouth.

Bournemouth’s official club statement said: ‘Structural engineers have carried out an inspection of the stadium and have confirmed that the damage could pose a significant risk to supporters’ safety.

‘The ongoing impact of the storm means the damage cannot be repaired in time either to fulfil the fixture on Friday, or at a re-arranged time on Saturday.

Many Forest fans had already arrived in Bournemouth when the postponement was confirmed

Many Forest fans had already arrived in Bournemouth when the postponement was confirmed

‘The postponement was recommended by the club’s Safety Advisory Group.’

Storm Eunice brought widespread damage and disruption to the UK, with record wind speeds of 122mph recorded on the Isle of Wight – not too far from Bournemouth.

However, weather reports for the hours leading up to the game and during the game showed that the storm was set to subside and Forest were eager to get the game on.

‘There should have been an attempt to play the match on Saturday,’ a Forest club source told Sportsmail.

‘There was no EFL representative inside the stadium to make an informed decision. A few signs fell on the ground inside the stadium and the engineer said they were unable to get a cherry picker in to the stadium until Monday.

Jefferson Lerma was one of eight players that Bournemouth were set to be missing on Friday

Jefferson Lerma was one of eight players that Bournemouth were set to be missing on Friday

‘Forest were willing to play the game up until 2pm on Saturday, but Bournemouth declined the offer.’ 

The Cherries are currently second in the Championship, while Forest are one point outside the playoffs in seventh.

It is expected that the rearranged fixture will be played in early March.

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