Next Game: Pre-Season Friendly - Melksham Town Away on Saturday 7th July

Friday, September 16, 2016

Grass For The Bulls

In response to Simon Wright's article promoting plastic pitches, Bulls season ticket holder Bill Thomas argues the contrary view.

The Bulls playing on plastic doesn't sound right to me at all. I don't think that the club have ever considered having a plastic pitch and personally I sincerely hope that they never do.

I assume that the long term target of Hereford FC is to reach the Football League, and at the time of writing, plastic pitches are not allowed in the Football League. And personally I think that there is no guarantee that the Football League will eventually allow 3G pitches. Why invest up to £750k on a playing surface that is not currently allowed at our target level? I also think it would be a huge gamble to assume that we could make £3,000 a week from it. Is that the sort of gamble that a new club should consider less than two years after the old club folded? I don't think it is.

Whether or not the Football League should allow 3G pitches of course is a matter of opinion. But I have read that a players survey in Scotland highlighted that 73% of over 700 players that responded said that they would rather play on a deteriorating grass pitch than an artificial pitch. Furthermore 71% said that it takes them longer to recover from playing on 3G, and 30% said they thought that 3G pitches should not be allowed in the professional game at all. Of course that is the Scottish League players view, but would the views of the English Football League players be any different? And personally I think that the views of the players should be taken very seriously. After all they are the ones that entertain us!

As for supporters I would guess that there will be people who would not object to a plastic pitch, but that there will be others who may hate the idea. And why upset anyone? As a newly formed club I don't think we can afford to upset anybody!

Let's also not forget that best way for lower league clubs to become famous is to perform an FA Cup giant killing. And would a giant killing be as likely on plastic? The heavy grass pitches can act as a great leveller, and is probably one of the reasons that there are giant killings. A heavy pitch of course can NOT be used an excuse for Hereford beating Newcastle and West Ham as we drew on their grounds first. But Hereford beat these teams on grass and I see the pitch as huge part of our famous history, and feel very strongly that the playing surface should never be replaced with plastic.

And finally how could it be right for a team that takes a Bull to Wembley to have an artificial playing surface? Imagine parading a Bull around a plastic pitch at Edgar Street. Bulls, cider and plastic? Surely not!