Ban on Artificial Pitches in Scottish Premiership by 2026

Ban on Artificial Pitches in Scottish Premiership by 2026

Scottish Premiership clubs have unanimously agreed to ban artificial pitches in the top division, with the phase-out set to be complete by 2026. This decision follows a successful vote where at least nine of the 12 Premiership clubs were in favor. Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park currently features the only artificial surface remaining in the top flight, following Livingston’s relegation. However, Kilmarnock has already planned to revert to natural grass by 2025. The SPFL board has granted a two-year period to allow any clubs with artificial pitches to transition back to natural surfaces in the Premiership. The top flight next season will include Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee, Dundee United, Hearts, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Motherwell, Rangers, Ross County, St Johnstone, and St Mirren.

Artificial Pitches in Scottish Football: An Overview

Following Livingston’s relegation, Rugby Park in Kilmarnock remains the sole top-flight venue with an artificial pitch. However, plans are underway for a return to natural grass by 2025. Raith Rovers, who narrowly missed promotion to the Premiership after a playoff defeat to Ross County, also utilize an artificial surface and have criticized the proposal to phase out such pitches as ‘fundamentally flawed.’ This sentiment is echoed by lower-tier clubs such as Falkirk, Queen of the South, and Hamilton Academical—the latter being another club that has previously used artificial turf in the top flight. The SPFL has issued a statement allowing a two-year transition period for clubs to plan the removal of artificial pitches from Scotland’s top tier of football.

SPFL Initiates Premiership Pitch Improvement Project

In accordance with the SPFL Competitions Working Group’s recommendations, which reflect the consensus of member clubs, the SPFL Board has sanctioned a Premiership-wide initiative. This project will collaborate with a top pitch consultancy firm, renowned for its work with UEFA, aiming to enhance the quality of grass pitches in the cinch Premiership. Engagement with Premiership clubs on this venture will commence prior to the upcoming season.

Football Expert Sam Mollnet
reviewed by: Sam Mollnet (Footbal Expert)

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