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The Strangest Reasons Premier League Games Have Been Postponed

The Strangest Reasons Premier League Games Have Been Postponed
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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This weekend's Premier League fixtures have been postponed as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The decision to postpone the games was not a government mandated one, nor one expected by the footballing world.

If we look back through the competition's history, however, we find several more peculiar reasons for postponing Premier League games in the past...

Premier League postponed: The strangest reasons of all time

Bomb scare messes with final day - Manchester United v Bournemouth, 2015/16

By far the strangest reason for a Premier League game being postponed came in 2015/16 when Manchester United's final day assignment against Bournemouth was called off due to a bomb scare.

The stadium was evacuated and the game postponed, with a bomb squad called in to inspect a suspect package found in one of the stadium's toilets.

The craziest thing about the whole episode? The "suspect package" in question was in fact a dummy device left behind from a training exercise in the days leading up to the match.

The match went ahead two days later, with United winning 3-1 - though it was not enough to seal Champions League football for the following season.


Snow wreaks havoc with Christmas games - 2010/11

The winter of 2010 saw a fierce cold snap grip the UK and Ireland, and it caused several Premier League games to be postponed in the days leading up to Christmas.

Though a full round of fixtures was planned the weekend before Christmas Day, the weather conditions were so poor that only three games went ahead. Instead of games featuring the likes of Chelsea or Arsenal, viewers of Match of the Day were treated to just two games on the Saturday - Sunderland's 1-0 win over Bolton, and West Ham's 1-1 draw at Blackburn.



Middlesbrough relegated after calling off Blackburn game - 1996/97


The 1996/97 Middlesbrough team was filled with cult heroes. The team, managed by Manchester United legend Bryan Robson, featured Fabrizio Ravanelli up front, and the iconic Juninho running the show.

It was a memorable season in the cups for 'Boro, who reached the finals of both the League Cup and the FA Cup, but the Premier League was to bring heartbreak.

In December, an outbreak of illness in the midst of an injury crisis forced Middlesbrough to call off their game against Blackburn on short notice, with a reported 23 players missing. The lack of ample notice given to the opposition and to the league did not go down well, and the team were deducted three points.


They would finish the season on 42 points in 14th place - incredibly, though, when the three point deduction was applied, they dropped to 19th place and were relegated to the First Division. A costly stomach bug up north...

Fan invasion of empty stadium - Manchester United v Liverpool, 2020/21

The most recent addition on the list, this game came during a season when games were regularly called off due to COVID outbreaks. This game, however, was postponed for an entirely different reason.

Games were being played behind closed doors as a COVID safety measure but a group of Manchester United fans, protesting against the American Glazer family who own the club, stormed the empty stadium ahead of their game against Liverpool at Old Trafford. Managing to break through the security, some fans even got onto the pitch, forcing the game to be called off on short notice. Liverpool would win the rescheduled game 4-2.



Of course, amid the group storming Old Trafford, there was a fella in a Kerry jersey.

Have we missed any? What's the strangest reason you can remember for a Premier League game being postponed?

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