Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill was shocked that the Black Cats opening home game of the Premier League season with Reading was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Heavy rain fell over the majority of England, but the Championship game at neighbouring Middlesbrough went ahead without problems which led to Sunderland launching an internal investigation into the issue of why it affected them so badly.
Sunderland were set to let new big money signings Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson loose on the Stadium of Light pitch but both managers agreed with referee Neil Swarbrick that the game shouldn’t go ahead.
Water was left covering the top of the pitch and the drainage system had clearly failed which led to a surprising August abandonment of a Premier League game, quite unheard of until now.
Martin O’Neill told the Independent: “It’s inexplicable, really. For it [the rain] to lie there there must be a problem with the drains.”