IoG opens consultation on use of artificial turf

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) is to consult the Football League on possible rule changes to allow artificial pitches to be used in the league.

The IOG has launched a consultation into the use of synthetic turf - image: Notts Sport
The IOG has launched a consultation into the use of synthetic turf - image: Notts Sport

See also Horticulture Week's analysis of the key issues: Synthetic Turf - the right pitch.

The IoG greeted the announcement of a consultation by calling for views from interested parties within the grounds and turf care industry.

The consultation will run until May and has been hyped as a step towards the reintroduction artificial pitches. Feedback from grounds staff, clubs and fans is sought.

IOG chief executive Geoff Webb said: "In order for the Football League to make informed decisions, it is essential to take into account the views of everyone likely to be affected by any potential move towards artificial pitches.

"We are keen to pass on the opinions of our members and the industry as a whole, especially professionals involved in the maintenance of either or both artificial and natural turf surfaces, as well as suppliers."

Artificial surfaces were banned in 1988 and the last remaining one in the top four divisions, at Preston North End’s Deepdale, was ripped up 17 years ago.

Advances in technology and possible financial and community benefits have led to a rethink. But Campey Turf Care managing director Richard Campey told Hort Week more questions needed to be asked about chemicals used in synthetic surfaces.

Football League chief operating officer Andy Williamson said his organisation was open-minded on the issue. An increasing "appetite" to reconsider the use of artificial surfaces was matched by "drop in opposition".

Webb requested comments to the IOG be sent by 14 April to ceo@iog.org.

Download the 32-page consultation (deadline 30 April) from http://www.football-league.co.uk/staticFiles/89/9d/0,,10794~171401,00.pdf


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