Pool seek help to win turf war

Blackpool's Bloomfield Road pitch
Blackpool's Bloomfield Road pitch
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Blackpool have turned to the Institute of Groundsmen to help win the battle with their problem pitch.

This comes after the Football League contacted the club to demand an explanation following a flurry of complaints from managers, players and supporters about the state of the Bloomfield Road surface.

Manager Lee Clark yesterday described the pitch as “not good enough” and Pool have pledged to do their utmost to solve the problem.

While the Football League and Blackpool FC are issuing no public statements, the governing body has replied to fans who made queries.

And in a response to one Pool supporter, obtained by The Gazette, the Football League revealed the club has provided some answers.

It reads: “Blackpool FC have provided some information with regards to the actions taken to improve the playing surface at Bloomfield Road.

“They have recently instructed the Institute of Groundsmen (IOG) to attend and survey the current state of the pitch.

“And after discussions between BFC ground staff and the IOG, remedial work will take place over the next few weeks.

“Longer term, the club has stated that following the conclusion of season 2014-15, works will begin on the pitch to renovate ready for season 2015-16.”

The remedial work is understood to include reseeding.

When asked about the pitch, Clark added: “I understand the questions about the pitch.

“There’s no getting around it –it’s not good enough. That’s not having a go at the groundsman, who’s trying his best.

“It’s not something we can solve overnight and we will just try to do the best we can.”

Pool desperately need a win at home to Nottingham Forest today if they to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

Clark admits the pitch causes difficulties and not only during games.

He explained: “It’s hard for us to plan for how teams are going to play because they are changing their style to play on our pitch.

“We saw that with Middlesbrough the other night. They usually play 4-3-3 but went 3-5-2 to try to turn the ball in behind out back players.

“Sometimes when you try to play football on our pitch it can cause problems.

“It’s sad but that’s what we have here and we have to try to deal with it.

“There’s also the toll it takes on the legs. It will take extra out of the lads because it’s heavy and demanding. We’ll have to take that into account.

“I don’t think it will improve while we are playing games on it. I don’t think it can. There’s no scope to get it dug up and relaid because we haven’t got the time between games, so it’s a vicious circle.

“All we can do is get to the end of the season and get something done about it then.”