OLDHAM ATHLETIC’S chances of avoiding the big freeze to host Liverpool in their televised FA Cup fourth round clash on Sunday have been boosted after they took delivery of an inflatable pitch cover.
Boundary Park was covered by several inches of snow over the weekend and with temperatures predicted to be sub-zero all week the game may have been placed in doubt.
However, the Football Association have provided a ‘bubble’ which will cover the playing surface and be filled with hot air to ensure the pitch is protected from the extremes of the weather.
It should have been put down today but because of the amount of snow groundstaff have had to clear the pitch first.
Oldham are confident though that, at this stage, their efforts will mean the match goes ahead without any problems.
With the match sold out and television revenue bringing in £135,850 the tie is a big money-spinner for the League One side.
Now the pitch has been taken care of, the club are concentrating on making sure the surrounding areas are clear from snow and safe for spectators.
Groundstaff have begun that clear-up operation but the club have appealed for help from the general public to provide assistance if possible.
“Latics are looking for volunteers to help ensure Sunday’s FA Cup with Budweiser, fourth-round tie against Liverpool goes ahead,” said a statement.
“They need help throughout the week to clear snow from inside Boundary Park and also the approaches to the ground.
“If you have free time, simply turn up at the ground.”