The first Premier League postponement of the season was confirmed on Wednesday evening but for once, it’s not weather or Covid-19 putting paid to a match.
“Exceptional circumstances relating to planned industrial action” was cited as the reason for the postponement of Brighton and Hove Albion v Crystal Palace, which leaves both clubs without a fixture in Gameweek 8.
A new date for the match, which was originally scheduled for Saturday 17 September, hasn’t been announced but it can’t be accommodated in the midweek after Gameweek 8 as an international break follows.
Albion and the Eagles will, therefore, get a Double Gameweek whenever the M23 derby is finally rearranged.
A Premier League statement said:
“Following a request to the Premier League Board by Brighton & Hove Albion FC, the club’s home fixture against Crystal Palace, due to be played at 15:00 BST on Saturday 17 September, has been regrettably postponed.
“The decision follows exceptional circumstances relating to the planned industrial action on the rail network, with authorities unable to sanction the fixture to be played with no public transport available for supporters.
“The Premier League has consulted with both clubs, police, the Safety Advisory Group for Brighton & Hove City Council and other relevant authorities in exploring alternative plans but all have agreed there was no other option but to postpone the fixture.
“A new date for the rescheduled match will be announced in due course.”
IMPLICATIONS FOR FPL MANAGERS
The timing of the postponement is bothersome for FPL bosses who wanted Brighton representation for the Seagulls’ clash with Bournemouth this weekend.
It’s one of the standout fixtures of Gameweek 7 but anyone moving for, or already owning, the likes of Pascal Gross (£6.0m), Alexis Mac Allister (£5.6m) or Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) will have to have an exit plan or a deep bench in preparation for Gameweek 8 to circumvent the Brighton blank.
The cancellation may also bring forward a number of Wildcards that were intended to be played during the September international break.
Gross is the fourth-most-owned midfielder in the game, while Robert Sanchez (£4.7m) is behind only the bargain-bin Danny Ward (£4.0m) in terms of popularity amongst goalkeepers.