PROMOTER Danny Ford admitted the coronavirus situation which led to Pirates’ scheduled meeting with Redcar being postponed was “more dire than initially thought”.

Poole were tonight due to welcome the north east outfit to Wimborne Road, looking to continue their march up the SGB Championship table.

Pirates claimed keyholders from landlords Gaming International were self-isolating, meaning the Dorset outfit were unable to gain access to the premises.

But Ford revealed the NHS Track and Trace system went far beyond just the two staff members.

He said: "Since initially being informed that we could not gain access to the stadium, we have learned that a number of key personnel amongst our own staff have been directed to isolate, including our clerk of the course, other licenced pits officials, some turnstile operatives, plus a number of the stadium's security and health and safety team.

"So, even if we had been permitted to use the premises, we would still have encountered significant issues in staging the meeting.

“That said, we fully understand the disappointment of all supporters who were looking forward to attending on Wednesday, and that we can only apologise once again to anyone who has been inconvenienced, especially the travelling fans from Redcar.

"All pre-purchased tickets have now been refunded accordingly and we now look ahead to being able to resume meetings here at Wimborne Road again, beginning next Wednesday with the visit of Scunthorpe.

"As and when we have a restaging date for the Redcar fixture we will advise, and hopefully we will still be able to welcome Bears fans on the new date."

Ford has also confirmed the revised date for Pirates’ visit to Scunthorpe will now go ahead on Friday 10th September.