A Synthetic Option for Postponements
After a bad beginning due to winter, the weather conditions has started to have its toll on football games across the nation. 18 professional fixtures were called off on Boxing Day, and even many more semi-professional as well as amateur fixtures postponed across the UK. The disturbances continued into the New Year, with a few clubs still struggling to recover from certainly one of the wettest Christmas durations on record.
Shocking images of the floods causing drastic effects on Carlisle’s Brunton Park and pitches across Yorkshire and also Lancashire showed the devastation brought on along with the challenge confronting teams in regaining. Missing a game can put tension on smaller club’s income; customarily the Boxing Day as well as New Year’s Day games are highly attended – the same cannot be said for the re-arranged matches on a chilly mid-week where spectators are back to work and also back at school.
Match-day takings in club stores and pubs are a substantial revenue flow for clubs at Christmas, with no game there is absolutely no footfall, thereby reducing the club’s capability to generate cash. The trend is that supporters are willing to have a beverage after the game on a Saturday but not so much in the course of the week when they have to travel home plus have work commitments the following day.
An instance in point was Braintree Town, who got four successive fixtures postponed – three at home – while 5 out of the last six games, which can put a huge strain on the resources. The game fixtures accumulating is also an issue to the club, with many games over a short space of time challenging on semi-professional players that have careers and also responsibilities.
A solution for these football clubs is a switch to artificial. While 3G play fields are only permitted in the top flight for matches in the FA Cup, the National League renewed its position for them to be utilized for league matches from 2015-16. A growing number of teams in England, as well as Scotland, have shifted to synthetic turf, substantially improving the outlook for some who struggled with the extreme weather conditions.
Additionally, the pitch and club facilities may be used by the community all through the year, bringing in much-needed revenue streams. 3G offers an excellent surface for playing, promoting high-quality professional football which is essential for the growth and development of the grass-roots game.
Keynsham Town, who plays in the Western League division one, shifted to artificial in 2011, acquiring financing from the Football Foundation, who work with the FA as well as Premier League, with local community involvement guaranteed as an element of the contract.
Clubs can apply for funding from £10,000 to £500,000 for projects aimed at improving facilities for grassroots football; the pitches must be available for use every single day for at least 85 hours by local groups and teams.
Keynsham Club Secretary Julian French recently told the Bath Chronicle that “Day in and day out, it can be utilized for hire externally, as well as for exercise twice per week. This also means there is no worry about climate, and you can turn up on a Saturday with the match guaranteed to be on. We’re an FA Community Charter Standard club, and that is the top-most level you can achieve, and so that is helped by having the facilities. It really is utilized by juniors from the age of five, and fosters goodwill within the city.”
Bonar Yarns, the manufacturing company behind the high quality fibres used at Queen of the South Palmerston Park field, stated through Stefan Diederich that, “Synthetic turf has become an increasingly viable and also popular choice for both expert and also semi-professional football teams, not only as an excellent sporting decision but the one which makes clear business sense. Turf protects clubs from stopped games or postponements whilst offering a facility that can be used extensively year-round. Not just can a 3G pitch inspire goodwill from the local community, but give earnings which can be invested back into the club.”
An efficient Football Association enterprise to spend £260 million in six hundred new all-weather pitches has seen a rise in involvement by the FA, taking the numbers of football fields into line with some European counterparts. This key investment decision in grass-roots providing a terrific opportunity for the next generation of both male and female players.
To learn more go to: Bonar Yarns