Football clubs launch 3G4US to promote artificial turf

pitch

Following an announcement that there was a “clear appetite” to reconsider the use of artificial surfaces in the Football League, a group of professional clubs are getting together to promote the cause.

The clubs, who either use or plan to use such pitches are setting up a contact group, 3G4US, aimed at promoting the merits of 3G artificial surfaces, as well as providing practical information and experience to other clubs interested in installing these pitches in the future.

The group has been put together by Ryman (Isthmian) League club Maidstone United, who are currently building a new stadium with an artificial pitch – the first club in the country to do so from the outset.

Maidstone United Director Oliver Ash said: “Many clubs have already installed these modern pitches, which play just like good grass pitches and are benefiting in many ways from them. The gains to the clubs’ communities from extensive use of the playing facilities as well as the economic benefit to clubs are now well documented. We certainly want to encourage more clubs to consider installing them.”

Ash says there has been interest from clubs such as Wycombe Wanderers of the Football League and Alloa Athletic of the Scottish League, as well as Durham City and Folkestone Invicta among semi-professional clubs.

He added: “There are many different and excellent reasons why a club might wish to go down the 3G route. It may be a choice or it may be, in some cases, a question of economic survival. We want the 3G4US clubs to share their practical experiences of installation, construction, suppliers and maintenance and to promote the merits and advantages of these pitches. We are starting the ball rolling by inviting clubs to our new ground in March.”

One problem, however, is that current rules prevent matches above a certain league level being played on artificial turf. This is a disincentive for ambitious clubs to put in expensive pitches only to be blocked if they are in a position to be promoted to a higher level.

With the latest consultation from the Football League and much positive publicity recently concerning the quality of the artificial surfaces, it seems only a question of time before the door is once again open to artificial turf in the Football League and FA Cup.

2 Comments

  1. Terry Goulds says:

    We are currently in Div 1 of the Sussex County League – soon to be London South West (if the FA have their way – and they will)!
    We are also affiliated to the biggest sports and social club in Sussex (so we are told) and are looking to make considerable improvements to the ground which is wholly owned by the Club. Part of the improvements will be to install two all-weather (possibly 2G) hockey pitches and a football pitch which will be totally enclosed and separate from the hockey. Although things are currently in the planning stage, a decision has yet to be made regarding the surface for the football pitch. I would like it to be 3G which would enable us to play in all weathers plus greatly reduce the amount of time and money that is spent on a grass surface. I understand that certain FA competitions do not allow the use of artificial pitches which I find baffling as England played Russia on an artificial surface in a competition qualifier. We are looking to gain Ryman status in the future, but are unsure on whether an artificial pitch would be allowed, although I see that you are going to go ahead anyway. We would very much like to be kept up to speed with any developments.
    Yours in Sport
    Terry Goulds,
    Head of Finance,
    St. Francis Rangers FC

    Reply
    • oliver ash says:

      Hello Terry,
      Apologies for the long delay in replying. Yes at present 3G pitches are allowed in the Isthmian (ryman) League. So no worries there!

      Reply

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