AFC Fylde may need legal solution to pitch problem

AFC Fylde may have to take legal action to resolve the issue with its Mill Farm pitch.

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 12:30 pm
David Haythornthwaite believes the Mill Farm pitch will have to be dug up shortly

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The surface has been described as a “disgrace” by the club’s chairman David Haythornthwaite, with drainage issues the key concern.

However, to get to the root of the problem and establish whose responsibility it is, Haythornthwaite admits the club may have to go down a legal route.

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“We had a terrible time with the pitch last year,” he said in a video for the club website. “I was always proud of my pitch and I was embarrassed with my pitch this year. It was a disgrace.

“We investigated and dug the whole thing up, and found a lot of faults with the drainage and with the way things were originally put in three years ago. We are in the middle of finding out whose responsibility it is.

“The builders subcontracted to another company, who subcontracted to somebody else and when these things happen everyone blames everybody else.

“We are trying to get this resolved without going legal, that’s my preference, but it looks like we may not be able to do that.

“The important thing is that we carefully document everything because at some stage we are going to have to renovate the pitch.

“I don’t want to spend a penny until the last minute but if we are going to have a September-ish start, we are probably going to have to dig up the pitch in the not too distant future. I just want to get the legal part sorted out first.”

Speaking in the middle of May, Haythornthwaite had appeared hopeful that a way forward had been found and that Fylde’s extended close-season would give the club a chance to resolve the issues.

Fylde’s relegation from the National League appears to have been sealed following the announcement of play-off dates for National League North and South. The finals of these six-team competitions are scheduled for August 1, with the winners set to replace Fylde and Ebbsfleet.