Brighton have announced that their upcoming clash with bitter rivals Crystal Palace at the AMEX Stadium has been postponed as a result of rail strikes due to take place on the day of the encounter.
The sides were set to meet on September 17th, however that coincides with industrial action being taken by train workers, with the Guardian reporting that “about 40,000 workers at Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will strike”.
This will make the logistics of getting between Brighton and South London difficult for travelling fans, and as a result the decision has been made to postpone the game.
Brighton Chief Executive Paul Barber explained that “Both clubs wanted the match to take place on the original date and there has been a continued dialogue in order to achieve this with all relevant authorities, including Sussex and Surrey Police, other local emergency services and agencies, Brighton & Hove City Council, the Premier League and Crystal Palace.
“Following these discussions, and having carefully evaluated all the factors, the unanimous recommendation of the Safety Advisory Group was to postpone the fixture with the full support of the Premier League.
“While we fully appreciate this will be of huge disappointment to both sets of fans, and causes disruption to both teams’ fixture schedules as well as those of supporters, the safety of fans of both clubs, our matchday staff, players and officials must be the priority.
“We have taken into consideration how difficult it would be for fans of both clubs to attend the match without access to the rail network and we looked at a number of options and various contingency plans.
“This included additional travel options or moving the match to earlier or later in the same week, with Sunday afternoon the latest the fixture could be played on that weekend due to the international break, but it simply was not possible to play the match with a full capacity crowd in attendance.
“We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused fans of both teams, but we feel that the right decision has been reached. We would also like to thank Crystal Palace, the Premier League and the authorities for their support in this matter.”
It is unclear whether this will be the only game postponed, with three further clashes due to take place on the Saturday. Wolves vs Manchester City, Newcastle United vs Bournemouth and Tottenham vs Leicester City are all scheduled to go ahead for now, but this could change closer to the time.