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Football League consults on artificial pitches

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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The Football League is holding a formal consultation process on the use of artificial playing surfaces. The Football League said they have an “open mind” on the issue and have invited individual fans to contribute to the process.

Earlier this month the Football Supporters’ Federation outlined the pros and cons of synthetic surfaces and polled fans – read more on that here. Many teams around Europe already use synthetic surfaces, a prime example being CSKA Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium (above left).

The Football League’s chief operating officer Andy Williamson said: “For the first time in 20 years there is a clear appetite amongst a number of Football League clubs to reconsider the use of artificial surfaces for first team matches.

“It is fair to say that The Football League currently has an open mind on the issue, however it is a decision that will clearly have implications for all those with an interest in professional football. It is important therefore that everybody gets the opportunity to have their say.”

The consultation process closes on Monday 30th April. Football League clubs will then discuss the issue at their summer conference which runs from Thursday 31st May-Friday 1st June. The consultation will be open to:

  • Governing bodies such as the FA.
  • Leagues such as the Premier League, Football Conference, Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League.
  • All clubs in domestic professional football and non-league clubs with “aspirations” of playing in the Football League.
  • Football stakeholder groups such as the Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers’ Association Professional Game Match Officials /Referees’ Association, the Football Supporters’ Federation, Supporters Direct, refereeing and the Institute of Groundsmanship).
  • Any other corporate bodies and individuals that wish to respond.

The issue of artificial pitches is potentially a controversial one but it is important that fans read up on the arguments before voicing their opinion. You can read more on this subject via the FSF’s ‘Are synthetic surfaces to return?’ which outlines the pros and cons.

(Image courtesy of Kate_Lokteva under CC license.)

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