AMATEUR football leagues across East Lancashire will be postponing fixtures on Sunday ahead of the eagerly anticipated Clarets and Rovers clash.
While some of the junior and senior leagues in the area have called off all of its matches, others have given teams the option not to play.
The Burnley Sunday League and the Warburton Youth League has postponed its programme while the Blackburn Sunday League has shuffled fixtures to accommodate the match.
“There is a lot of interest in the game so we decided to call off all the matches in our leagues,” said John Pilling, secretary of the Burnley Sunday League who is also sits on the Warburton Youth League committee. “A few teams might have wanted to play but it was easier to postpone them all.”
There are only four fixtures being played in the Blackburn Sunday League although teams competing in the LFA Sunday Trophy will play.
“We don’t normally play on the Sunday before Christmas so we gave our teams the option to call games off this weekend and play on that Sunday,” said results and fixture secretary Bill Maynard. “We couldn’t call off the LFA Sunday Trophy fixtures but 99 per cent of our teams didn’t want to play.”
But the East Lancashire Football Alliance – the biggest junior league in the county – and The North Valley Youth League, which covers Burnley and Pendle, will not be calling off games but have given teams the option of using their cancellation date.
“We are a massive league and we are already struggling to fulfil our fixtures due to the weather,” said league secretary Selena Voght.
“But teams have been given the opportunity of using their cancellation date or bringing their game forward if they wanted to watch the derby match.”
The East Lancs Alliance will have a programme of fixtures but around 50 teams have used their cancellation option.
“We discussed calling all our games off but decided to leave it to the clubs,” said league secretary Craig Wilkinson.
“So while we do have a large number of games postponed there will be a programme going ahead.”
The Hyndburn-based Harry Warburton Memorial League has also halted all of its matches.