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Just read in the Plymouth herald that English league clubs are going to vote on whether to have plastic pitches. Anyone got any views. Personally I am totally against it. League pitches are a hundred times better than they were 10/15 years ago.

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Really. What planet are you on. Football should always be played on grass. Looking after pitches over the years has meant some excellent surfaces. Thank goodness I finished playing 30 odd years ago because I would not gone anywhere near an artificial pitch. I suppose its all about money and not players safety.

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The modern top pitches are mainly constructed with sand, rubber crumb, elastic bands and not a lot of soil. More often than not they will have a synthetic grass weaved into them, typically 30%

A lot of the goalmouths are grown in rubber pallets, they can be changed when wearing out in a matter of a few hours.

The millennium stadium is entirely on 9" rubber pallets, it can be completely changed/renewed in 3 days, the replacement pitch is grown in Holland and transported in with refridgerated trucks.

The pitch in Sapporo (Japan) is taken out of the stadium completely in one go and grown just outside the venue, then put back in for the match. The end of the stadium opens up for the removal process.

A bit different to what we play on !!!

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Very few games at the top 100 grounds in England are called off nowadays due to a poor surface. However, if clubs were allowed to use those surfaces approved by UEFA & FIFA, they could use the stadiums for many other events, rent the pitch out when not in use, allow schools and other local clubs to use it etc etc. It is only The FA who are stopping the use of 3/4G surfaces at Conference level and above. Good enough for Champions League, not good enough for Conf South !!!

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I put this subject on the Truro City site about a month or so ago.

General Discussion - Artificial Surface could be good for Truro City

Ivor Marshall Posted 1 month ago sm_3519_1410563368.jpg

I experienced life at Loftus Road when Queens Park Rangers installed their artificial surface, I did not like it then and little has changed my mind since, it's the old fashioned traditionalist in me that is UNTIL NOW.

We continually hear and read about clubs who have taken the brave move and without exception those clubs sings it's praises, I have copied below the experience of Sutton Coldfield Town who have a 3G pitch where 750 games have been played on it in the 3 years since it was laid - WOW 5 or 6 games a week.

Now think TRURO CITY FC and the revenue that could be generated with the new ground used almost daily, money from teams renting the playing facilities, bar takings most nights of the week, If the bar were open nightly local residents would surely use it as well, Truro City's ground could become home for other teams locally who have difficulty fulfilling their fixtures due to many postponements.

If the Football Association are keen for 600 pitches to be installed in the near future a number of those would surely be made available to clubs within non leagues pyramid, funding would most likely be partially funded with the cash from the Premier League, if this were the case another plus factor in the Truro City case for help providing it would be travel, gone would be the uncertainty of opponents undertaking journeys involving hundreds of miles only to find the ground deemed unplayable minutes before it's start time.

Yes an old geezer looking forward to a different form of a plastic friend.

Looks as if Pete Masters vision got there in front of us old buggers.

The article follows.


Published 28th August 2014


It has now been just over three years since the 3G pitch was installed at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South club Sutton Coldfield Town`s Coles Lane ground and what a fantastic story it has been since then.

At the time, the Football Association hadn't really decided how they were going to work with artificial surfaces and the Northern Premier League were somewhat reluctant in confirming their agreement with the Royals` plans.

Three years on and the FA are moving forward with their plans to install 600 artificial grass pitches throughout the country and many clubs have followed the path that Sutton Coldfield took in 2011 – Maidstone United, Merthyr Town, Whyteleafe, Bedworth United, Harlow Town and several clubs in Scotland and Wales now play their football on an artificial surface and will hopefully enjoy similar levels of activity and revenue as the Royals have seen at Coles Lane.

Sutton Coldfield have averaged just over 250 games per season since it was laid - that's full matches so doesn't include training sessions, Leisure Leagues and other activity. So the club should go through the 1000-game mark towards the end of this season which will be a fantastic landmark to hit within four years of construction.

The question that is asked on a regular basis is 'How long will it last?' All the club can say is that it is enjoying high levels of use with very few interruptions due to the weather.

At the moment and from several points of reference, the pitch is in excellent condition. The 3G is tested every spring by Labosport on behalf of FIFA and they made very positive comments about the condition of the pitch when they were last there, as did the staff of Replay Maintenance who have vast experience of similar surfaces throughout the UK.

So it is not unreasonable to expect another six, seven or more seasons out of the current surface.

The club will continue to work with Replay Maintenance to make sure that it is doing everything it can to maximise the lifetime of the pitch and should the club need to consider the earlier replacement of the pitch, the necessary funds are already being put in place in accordance with FA/NPL requirements.

In 2011, some people said Sutton Coldfield Town FC had made a brave decision to go with the 3G. The club now know that it made absolutely the right decision.


I found the above account of Sutton Coldfield's experience interesting I HOPE OTHERS READ IT.

Some forums voiced their thoughts on the artificial revolution, years of improvements are now paying dividends for those who have taken the plunge. I am sure if contacted those clubs already benefiting from various uses would be proud to advise others of the advantages and pitfalls to avoid if there were any.

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English Premiership rugby clubs Saracens and Newcastle Falcons have artificial surfaces as do Cardiff Blues in Wales.

At this time even Football League clubs are considering the advantages or disadvantages of artificial surfaces, artificial surfaces are widely used in the Scottish Football Leagues Divs 1, 2 & 3.

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Unless these are upgraded versions of what we have been installing in the States, they have been negatively in the headlines here lately:

1) Growing concern the rubber pellets being used are a factor in young players developing cancer. It will probably end up being typical knee jerk reaction we excel at over here but they are finding some youth goalies who have trained extensively on these surfaces with cancer. No direct link yet but concern is getting some momentum.

2) US women's team (and others) is trying to sue FIFA over the use of artificial surfaces for Women's World Cup this summer in Canada. They want grass like the men get.

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The surfaces referred to being used in AMERICA were laid 48 years ago in the Houston Astrodome, there have been great advances in technology since 1966 and the chemical content today has gone through many variations since then.

The 3/4G surfaces are maintained annually with an expected use life of 10/12 years when maintained regulary and inspected by specialists approved by the football authorities and FIFA.

The American investigations when completed will probably reveal a breakdown into powdered form of the materials used during the 1966 installation possibly similar to asbestos dust which was once believed to be safe in sheet form.

In the NPL news item I posted above it mentions the expected shelf life and that is why users of 3G put aside a percentage of the revenue generated so the money is available to replace the surfaces when the time comes in line with FIFA regulations.

Grass churns up and during adverse weather seasons becomes unplayable, many clubs have a job to play one game a week, we will have a fitter nation when a surface that can be used daily apart for routine maintenance time is available morning, noon and night to more people.............................................. sounds good to me.

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So, lets change the saying 'Football is a kick in the grass' to 'football is a kick in the plastic'. Do people honestly think that people put money aside to upgrade the pitches when they wear out. Dream on.

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We at Hayle are currently exploring the possibility of a 3G pitch. There is no such beast as a 4G, that is for mobiles, I am reliably informed by the manufacturers. There have been massive advances in the product over the last 4 years and the quality of a 3G pitch is all in the maintenance for every 10 hours use there is 1 hour maintaining. Use of proper footwear and cleanliness of same are paramount, modern pitches are guaranteed by the reputable manufacturers for 8 years, and have a life of probably 15. The product samples I have are far superior in texture and feel to the stuff of 20 years ago. Given the info I have, I am convinced there is a place for 3G in football. Our pitch hopefully will be full size if we can dot all the i's and cross the t's, but I have to agree, in my eyes, it will never be as good as a quality grass pitch.

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The mis-understanding by most is they think artificial pitches are maintenance free, they are not.

They require a lot of specialist equipment to keep them in top shape, and a lot of time and money to keep them pristine and able to replicate grass. They do wear out and the carpet has to be replaced at some stage, that's a lot of work, and an awful lot of money.

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