Bolton Wanderers fans have been left angered at the news that long-term Southend United head groundsman Ken Hare has been sacked after the EFL League Two clash between the two sides was postponed on Saturday [January 21] due to a frozen pitch.
It was the first match to be called-off at the club’s Roots Hall Stadium since January 2013, but despite the ground staff’s best efforts to beat the plummeting temperatures with covers and heaters, the referee deemed the surface unplayable shortly before 11am on match-day.
After that decision, Southend United’s head groundsman of 27 years, Mr Hare, was informed that he had been dismissed from his position.
A Southend United club statement about Mr Hare’s sacking stated that: “People generally lose their position as a result of not doing their job. The necessary decision surrounding Mr Hare was a disappointment and of course not taken lightly.
“Very FEW people have been dismissed at this football club over the past 20 years and that even extends to Managers”
Now, the Bolton fans that made the wasted 500 mile round-trip from Greater Manchester to Essex have started an online petition to try and help Mr Hare to be reinstated by the the Shrimpers – claiming that it was a disappointing outcome but Mr Hare did not deserve to lose his job.
The introduction of the petition reads: “On Saturday 21st January 2017, the football pitch at Roots hall, home of Southend United FC was deemed unplayable and the match against Bolton Wanderers was postponed leaving hundreds of Bolton fans having to travel back home.
“Head groundsman for Southend United, Ken Hare, has since been sacked after 27 years in the job for what was probably a simple error of judgement.
“We Bolton fans are disgusted with this and want to work together to get him his job back. It is always disappointing when a match is postponed but he does not deserve to lose his job which we are all sure he was very good at just for this.
“Stand up for Ken and let’s show what a fantastic fan base we can be.”
The petition currently has over 600 supporters as it chases a target of 1000 signatures before sending it directly to Southend United.