Manchester City v Sunderland and Everton v Crystal Palace called off because of North-west storm

Extreme weather conditions force the fixtures to be postponed

Gales gusting up to 80mph around the Etihad Stadium forced the postponement of Manchester City’s game with Sunderland on Wednesday night because the safety of spectators could no longer be guaranteed.

Everton’s home encounter with Crystal Palace also fell victim to the storm after buildings were damaged around Goodison Park and local roads had to be shut.

At the Etihad the high winds brought down a wall near the stadium, blew over a booth selling programmes and damaged glass in one of the executive boxes. On the advice of the police, the game was called off an hour before kick-off because the risk to spectators walking to the ground was deemed too great. In a statement, City said: “The safety of those in and around, and travelling to, the stadium complex cannot be guaranteed.”

Earlier in the day, the Met Office had issued a red warning – the highest possible state of alert – for winds around Manchester between 5pm and 8pm. That warning was downgraded during the day, only for the gale to flare up in the hour before kick-off.

The inconvenience aside, the postponement would probably suit City, who were preparing for three games in the space of six days with a squad deprived of Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho, Matija Nastasic and Samir Nasri through injury.

The Everton chief executive, Robert Elstone, said the sight of tiles blown off the roof of the Winslow pub outside Goodison left the club with no choice but to call the game against Palace off. “People had started to see things dropping off roofs on to busy roads and footpaths and there was only one decision,” he said. “The minute we saw tiles coming off the pub, we dealt with it immediately.”

 

There was a happy ending for one Everton supporter at least. Ric Wee, a Malaysian fan making his first visit to Goodison after 30 years, tweeted a picture of himself inside the stadium with the message: “Finally, 30 years since supporting @Everton, will b watching EFC “live” for 1st time.” When the match was called off, his tweet went viral and Everton responded by inviting him down to the dressing rooms to meet Roberto Martinez and his players.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
tech
Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week