A WIRRAL football team fear they may soon have to play up to four games a WEEK after a string of matches were postponed due to bad weather.

Poulton Vics FC say that since Christmas, they have had around 10 games called off, with some allegedly cancelled before the pitches had even been checked by the referee.

A spokesman for the club, who play in Division One of the Wallasey and District Sunday League, said that while the winter had been bad, too many games had been called off “unnecessarily”.

Following Tuesday’s scheduled game against Upton FC being postponed, the spokesman said that at this rate, the team could be playing three or four times every week between now and the end of the season in order to catch up.

He explained: “Sometimes the council call off the matches even before checking the pitches for a referee to make the call.

"We have a lot of professionals in our team who work Monday to Friday and also shift work, but who accommodate for a Sunday.”

But he said that now the club must ask players to take annual leave and arrange cover at work to account for the huge fixture list.

He said: “Most of the time they are unable to make the game at all, resulting in a paper-thin squad for an important run-in of games competing for leagues and cups.”

He said the problem was part of the wider issue around support for grass-roots football.

The club spokesman said: “We feel strongly that more needs to be done to improve maintenance within grass-roots football and to improve the sport as a whole.

“As teams are struggling to cope with rising pitch fees and more and more teams are folding, we are frustrated with what is going on.

“We believe more common sense needs to be applied to help move pitches early in advance to pitches with better drainage in anticipation of wet conditions.”

Earlier this month, following a number of cancellations due to bad weather, Wirral council wrote on its website: “With so many postponements of matches this winter, arrangements are being put in place to give teams and leagues the opportunity to try and fulfil outstanding fixtures.”

When contacted for comment on Wednesday, a Wirral council spokesman said: “Games are called off when weather conditions – usually heavy rain – leave outdoor grass pitches unfit to play on.

“The arrangements in place for teams to try to rearrange outstanding fixtures are as follows: football season extended for league fixtures from April 29 to May 13 at all sites except for Levers / Thornton Hough.

“Levers will be extended one week up until May 6 2018. If Levers teams require pitches between May 7 and May 13, contact the council to arrange an alternative pitch. Thornton Hough is not available on May 4-5 but will be available on the other days up until May 13.

“For a further week from May 14 to May 20, Arrowe Park and Plymyard will remain open for league fixtures only. To secure a pitch at Arrowe Park or Plymyard during this week, teams/ leagues must contact the council.”