Newcastle Match Delayed Over Big Screen Fears
18 October 2014, 16:00
Kick off for the match between Newcastle United and Leicester City was delayed by an hour after health and safety concerns over a new LED screen at St James' Park
The game was put back after a problem with a newly installed 60m television screen prompted safety chiefs to keep the turnstiles at St James' Park closed until 3.15pm - 15 minutes after the scheduled start.
Turnstiles which normally open 90 minutes before kick-off remained closed as match referee Martin Atkinson and safety officials discussed the way forward.
Engineers were called in and started work on the structure at around 2.30pm, by which point it became apparent that the match would not get under way at 3pm.
Supporters outside the stadium were kept informed of developments by stewards using loud-hailers.
In a statement, the club said:
"Newcastle United Football Club would like to offer sincere apologies to everyone affected by the delay to kick-off of today's Barclays Premier League fixture with Leicester City at St. James' Park.
Turnstiles were closed until 3.15pm whilst loose dressing panels surrounding the newly-installed LED screen in the Leazes Stand were assessed and made secure by engineers. Kick-off was subsequently rescheduled to 4pm.
Before turnstiles were opened, an issue was identified with the dressing panels and in order to give the Club the opportunity to rectify the situation, the decision was taken to keep the turnstiles closed. Supporter safety was of paramount importance and the Club felt that this action was necessary as a precaution.
The Club wishes to make very clear that the issues we experienced were not to do with the screen itself. Although the screen carries the 'adi.tv' branding the dressing panels were not installed by ADI nor a company sub-contracted by ADI.
We wish to apologise once again to everyone who suffered inconvenience as a result of this issue today and wish to place on record our particular thanks to all supporters at St. James' Park for their patience."