Blackburn Rovers have agreed to host Carlisle United’s first fixture of the New Year against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday 2 January 2016.With flood recovery work set to be well advanced when Carlisle and Plymouth were due to meet at Brunton Park, discussions with Blackburn and the Football League were held this week and a contingency plan was quickly put in place.
Carlisle's home fixture with Notts County on 19th December 2015 has already been moved to Preston North End's Deepdale home in light of the recent flooding in Cumbria, and they will now face a second 'home game' in Lancashire to begin the new calendar year.
Read more: Deepdale to host Carlisle United home game
Carlisle United's club secretary Sarah McKnight said: “Everyone at Ewood Park has been absolutely fantastic. They recognise that we’re going through a tough time and they’ve been very quick to help. We were able to hold initial discussions on Thursday afternoon and we will now work with Blackburn Rovers and the Football League to finalise the finer details as quickly as possible.”
Rovers’ managing director Derek Shaw said: “At times like this, it is important that members of the football family stick together and so we were only too happy to help out. The damage sustained at Brunton Park must be truly devastating and our deepest sympathies go out to everyone connected to the club and to all those affected by the floods in the Carlisle community.”
Argyle Chief Executive Martyn Starnes: “We appreciate Rovers' generous offer of help for Carlisle in this time of need, and are more than happy to play our small part in easing their burden. We will now liaise with Blackburn and Carlisle regarding ticket and travel arrangements for the Green Army. As soon as we have that information, we will pass it straight on.”
Commenting, Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League said: “With flood recovery work continuing at Brunton Park, we’d like to thank Blackburn Rovers for offering the use of Ewood Park to ensure that Carlisle United can fulfil their first fixture of the New Year against Plymouth Argyle. The Football League Board has ratified the venue change and we’ll continue to liaise with all three clubs, offering any assistance required.”