A FOOTBALL league boss is upset two teams had to cancel their home fixtures at the 11th hour when the University of Chester withdrew the use of pitches.

Paul Graham, secretary of Chester and District Football League, has now suspended the league on December 22 and 29 after the Waggon and Horses FC and Greyhound Inn FC were told they could no longer use the Clifton Drive playing fields.

The university says it has offered alternative facilities but Mr Graham said they were not suitable.

Speaking about the cancelled games, originally scheduled for Saturday November 24, he said: “The two teams were notified at 3pm the previous day. The league was not. A pitch at Kingsway was offered but I am told it is the minimum size of pitch you can use and not really suitable – also we needed two.

“Various options were considered but by 8pm a decision had to be made to call the games off.”

Problems have arisen after land owners Bark Street Investments Ltd lodged a planning application for 142 homes to built on the playing fields, meaning the loss of four football pitches and a rugby pitch used by local soccer clubs and Chester Gladiators rugby league squad.

The owners became aware the university was sub-letting the pitches which Colin Griffiths, agent for the applicants, said was contrary to the lease conditions.

A spokesman for the University of Chester said: “The teams were notified ahead of Saturday that appropriate alternatives to Clifton Drive on university sites were available and these sites were offered.”