Friday 18 November 2011

Artificial Grass Pitches could be back in favour at some Football League Clubs

Some football league clubs have announced that they would consider playing on an artificial grass pitch again. Two clubs in particular have voiced their interest at the prospect, Wycombe and Accrington.

Artificial pitches were banned by the Football League in 1988, this was due to the view that they created too much bounce preventing good football being played and more importantly they were thought to increase the risk of injury. Clubs that were playing on artificial surfaces in the 80's included Preston North End, Oldham Athletic and QPR.

Technology in artificial grass has come a long way since the late 80's and artificial grass pitches are now manufactured from polyethylene rather than nylon, this has meant that these new turfs have been approved by FIFA and UEFA.

Not only could the re-introduction of the artificial pitch improve the field of play for some clubs but it could also improve their revenue stream. The surfaces wouldn't succumb to the weather in the winter months preventing postponements, there would be more scope for event usage e.g. concerts and they could even be rented out to the local community.

Even though we are some way off the return of the artificial pitch in the Football League,  as it would have to be voted back in by all clubs, it is testament to the improvements in artificial grass that it is even up for discussion today.