Without getting too meteorological and on too high a soapbox with Climate Change emblazoned on the side, in the last few years it has become increasingly difficult to refer to ‘average’ or ‘traditional’ temperatures.
What we have seen in the last three rugby seasons, though, is severe disruption to the intended order and the re-establishment of midweek matches as a customary part of the rugby programme.
Moseley played on Tuesday evening and at the time of writing Bees were due to do likewise last night and if the evidence of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 winters is anything to go by it won’t be the last time.
Especially given the fact January and February are ‘usually’ colder than November and December – if the Met Office’s records have any relevance to the immediate future.
Indeed, most Championship clubs can expect to ask their supporters to leave their firesides and lend their pounds, pennies and voices to greater good.
Those that acquiesce should be applauded and those that don’t excused because the situation is totally unsatisfactory.
If we are to ignore the evidence and pretend that the Championship is supposed to be a professionally run and business-like commercial entity, the constant cancellation of matches is extremely deleterious to that image.
Sponsors and corporate groups are only going to be alienated by the inconvenience of postponements – especially when the only precautions they see being taken are rueful glances to the heavens, crossed fingers and the hope ground staff can beat the odds.
It is time to take a more proactive approach and emulate what they do in the Premiership by putting in place league-wide measures to combat the frost.
PRL have a contract with a company that ensures all 12 clubs have access to equipment such as pitch covers and blowers and it is not beyond the remit of the Championship to do the same.
Such a deal would cost around £20,000 per club which, bearing in mind a single call-out comes in at around £13,000, would probably pay for itself f used a couple of times a year.
Clearly the Cap in Hand Brigade would balk at finding what is basically the cost of a decent first teamer but the RFU could just as easily deduct that from central funding.