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Adams Park / Fratton Park pitches

In very difficult conditions that was one hell of a good game yesterday. And it was played on an excellent pitch (despite the surface water in the corner). The standard of grass surfaces these days has improved beyond all recognition and fans are now expecting to see good pitches as routine. Yet again the pitch at Adams Park is looking very good this season too.

I’ve seen games on 3G at Maidstone and Oxford City and can see the arguments that where clubs are primarily focused as community hubs they can have a positive effect.

However, 3G/4G pitches are known for damaging players’ knees and are not liked by most professionals as a result. In addition, the rubber crumb spread on them to dampen the bounce of the ball is made mostly from re-constituted tyres. There have been suggestions that regular exposure to this can be carcinogenic.

In view of the above I would argue that 3G/4G pitches should NEVER be allowed in the Football League. This should be one of the core standards of EFL membership. I’m amazed the Scottish Premier League allows it.

The only reasons for having them are to raise revenue by pitch hiring or alternatively by selling off training grounds etc to make money as players would then train on their own plastic pitches.

In other sports (like cricket for example) the core values of the sport are being eroded by short-term money-making gimmicks (mostly instigated by pressure from TV companies). Playing professional football on grass should be one thing that is kept as sacrosanct.


  • Totally agree with all of that

  • Selling off training of grounds? Why would club 'owners' ever want to do that? ;)

    PS I suspect that the Scottish weather has influenced the SFA/SFL/SPL to allow artificial pitches - and as someone who witnessed football played on mudbaths (or google how Dundee Utd became known as the Arabs), I have some sympathy with them even though it is not ideal.

  • I thought, from the headline, that this thread was going to be about the relative widths of Portsmouth’s pitch and our own.
    Time and again yesterday I thought the ball was going into touch only for Fred and others playing wide to be able to make further progress. A lady sitting near me remarked that the pitch looked almost square. That might be stretching it a bit but I could see what she meant. We seem to enjoy playing at Fratton Park but that doesn’t necessarily mean that our own pitch should be restored to the size it was (the same as Wembley, I believe) a few years ago.

    I liked the strip (white shirts/navy shorts) and it is interesting that we’ve collected half our points whilst wearing it. I think the theory is that it makes it easier to spot teammates (out of the corner of the eye, as it were) and assists both the choice of who to pass to and the accuracy of the pass.

  • @micra , I only ever truly realise how narrow we've made our pitch when stood behind the goal, I don't quite get the perspective from the Frank Adams.

    I wonder if with pacey wide players and less concentration on lumping to Bayo this season, if it WOULD benefit us to widen and lengthen the pitch again?
    Or does our pitch still suit our harrying style?

    With one (just about) win in 90min at home this season, it could easily be argued we should change it?

  • I believe ,please inform me if I am wrong, that you cannot change the pitch dimentions mid season

  • Probably right @Mr67. We’ll have to ask @DevC .

  • Has @DevC seen our pitch since it was narrowed?

  • You are not allowed to change pitch dimensions during the season
    Our narrow pitch is frustrating, especially as our home record over the past few years is poor compared to our away record.
    Bring back the days of Guppy and Carroll!

  • ...or since they removed that slope...

  • The thinking seems to be that the smaller the pitch, the more hard working harrying tactics work?

  • Good discussion AWorboys however there are many myths around 3G 4g Surfaces that are not substantiated by statistics. The higher incidence of Knee ( or any) injuries is not factual. The myth generally stems from historic studies made on 2G and early 3G pitches, the latest report in the US that actually suggested artificial pitches caused more injury was in early 2012, coming on to 7 years ago.

    Since then some relatively reliable and robust studies have been performed using vast data and research and actually find:

    "no evidence that playing matches or training on artificial turf raises the risk of soccer players sustaining injury. In fact, the evidence suggests that the risk of some injuries and some subgroups might be lowered.”

    This study by the Journal of Sports medicine is interesting and re-enforces that view

    it is important to note that the study also points toward a need for further wide ranging studies before it could catagorically rule one way or another. So on that basis I agree with you that it would be premature to allow the surfaces in the EFL until we know more.

  • I don't think Oxford City had much choice when it came to going artificial. The drainage at Court Place Farm is terrible, the ground is on the Cherwell floodplain and they regularly had home games postponed. The use as a community hub was an added bonus.

  • Same with Bracknell Town whose Larges Lane pitch used to resemble a beach just after the tide had gone out. Now flying high since the installation of a 4G pitch - whether the success is due to or despite of the surface I wouldn't like to suggest.

  • The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has opened a public consultation on a proposal to restrict by law the presence of eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in granules and mulches used as infill material in synthetic turf pitches and in loose form on playgrounds and in sport applications:

    The full report providing background and reasons for the restriction proposal can be viewed by clicking the pdf file icons on the web page. The key driver for the proposal, stated in brief, is that "due to the currently allowed levels of eight carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons ... control of the human health risks following use of rubber granules as infill material in synthetic turf pitches and use of granules or mulches in loose form on playgrounds and sport applications is not guaranteed."

    Anyone can submit comments during the public consultation period, should they wish to.

  • My goodness @Uncle_T - the lengths some people will go to digging up relevant information. Well done - very helpful.

  • No great lengths, as it happens. I work in the field of chemicals regulation and this one popped up automatically in one of my regular news feeds; thought it was relevant to this thread.

  • It does make you realise the wealth of experience & talent associated with WWFC & its supporter-base. I wonder how this can be more readily harnessed for the benefit of the club.

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