'Fan-led Review' highlights dangers to football

Not entirely ‘All About Walsall’ so mods feel free to move to off-topic if necessary, but preliminary report released today from the fan-led review of football as commissioned by the government.

Doesn’t explicitly say that the reason that football at the lower is being shafted is due to the greed of Premier League clubs, but a few interesting points that I spotted that would impact Walsall:-

  • Allowing clubs to operate all-weather pitches in League Two to help with generation of revenue in lower leagues.
  • Suggestion that the English Football League (EFL) enter discussions to absorb the National League top division into the EFL structure.

Anybody fancy an all-weather pitch at the Bescot (to presumably allow the likes of Villa Under 21s, etc to play on it without jeopardising our own matches)


“The dangers facing English league clubs are “very real”, with key aspects of the nation’s game “at genuine risk”, says the chair of a fan-led review commissioned by the government.”

On one hand I get it, can use it 7 days a week, would bring in even more income and Rushall’s looks brilliant and has enabled them to be a real community hub for all ages of football training. Plus the weather, we’re seeing more and heavier rain, the impact it has on games being postponed and moved to midweek with less fans and less income.

On the other hand, a lot of football fans are purists and want to keep football as traditional as possible.

I dunno, I’m 50/50 on it.


I’m exactly the same.

I’m spending this season watching Tier 9(?) football and same as Rushall it’s (nearly) always available, all the age ranges play on it and it’s great!

But yeah, I’m not sure, for some reason, if I’d want to see Walsall playing on it - that’s proper football, played on proper grass (and mud!). Maybe I’m just an old fart who doesn’t do change!! :rofl:

(Good job I’m not worrying about e-Season tickets!)

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Why don’t they hire the pitch behind the Homeserve stand to the Villa U21s and leave the main pitch as grass.

Because it’s about half the size of a normal pitch? :thinking:

Artificial Pitches have come a long way since the Oldham Athletic days, and i like the look of them in a garden setting, but i have been victim to some horrendous burns while diving about on them, and can’t help feeling they could put players off making tackles, because at the end of the day it is still nylon/rubber?
And i think it will kill sliding goal celebrations :grin:

It’s 2 years to the day since Rushall’s 3G (there’s no such thing as a 4G pitch - yet!) pitch was opened. It is in use, 7 days a week, by everyone from the semi-professional 1st team down to 6 and 7 year-olds.

At first, I was very sceptical of 3G pitches but the Dales Lane surface has won me over and it has drawn plaudits from all who use it. No games or training called off although snow would close it (clearing the snow would lift the black rubber crumb which underpins it). It is inspected annually and it has a FIFA Class C grading. The FA Inspector says that it is the best synthetic surface that he has seen. Putting it bluntly, if you can’t play football on that surface then you can’t play football. A good 3G surface (not a poor one like Sporting Khalsa or Sutton Coldfield Town) encourages skillful play. Nobody really misses the slope, divots, potholes and mud! To answer Chunkster, NO grass burn injuries have been reported at Dales Lane. You are much more likely to get such an injury on natural grass than on the latest synthetic version.

Top quality artificial pitches are the way forward. In the Walsall Junior Youth League, the complete mini-soccer programme, covering the 4 youngest age-groups, is played entirely on 3G surfaces. Correctly certified pitches are allowed for competitive use up to and including the National League. Only the dinosaurs of the EFL are blocking their use. It was ridiculous that Harrogate Town and Sutton United had to take up their fairly new 3G pitches when they were promoted to the EFL.


Maybe the current rule on no artificial pitches in the EFL is outdated now from an accessibility, growing clubs in their communities etc perspective although I’m not sure many current EFL teams would be in a rush to rip their pitch up to put an artificial one.

Yes they know the rules before they get promoted, but it does seem a shame that promoted teams like Harrogate and Sutton then have the immediate cost of replacing their pitches, especially when it was probably one of the things that enabled their clubs to grow to get to that point of promotion.

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From Only Fools and Horses.

“What do you prefer Rodney, AstroTurf or grass?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never smoked Astro Turf”


Is it?
Doesn’t look half the size.

It’s a full size pitch

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Do you also need an artificial lawn mower to cut it?

Apart from putting a number of highly skilled groundsmen out of a job (obviously not including the bloke in charge of Peterborough’s cabbage patch), could it lead to the loss of the “home advantage” that you can get by being used to your own pitch if every single one of them is exactly the same?

Wouldn’t want a 5G pitch - they give off radiation and Covid spores.

(Some or all of the above is a lie.)


Is that because you would want one really? :laughing:

It is minimum adult dimensions by the Laws of the Game but it is too small to conform to the rules of senior competitions which insist upon more than the bare minimum. There is also the problem of restricted spectator accommodation. Plus the fact that WFC do not maintain it properly, allowing the wrong kind of footwear on it.

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So effectively it’s a full size pitch, but it isn’t :joy:

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I imagine your dive skimming you across the surface rather like a well-thrown flat stone.


I’m shocked

Conforms to the letter of the law, but not the technicality of interpretation…

I feel for those clubs who get promoted to L2 and then have to rip these pitches up

Perhaps saying they have to go on promotion to the Championship would be fairer because the cost benefit softens the blow

I believe I’m right in saying that a lot of elite top level pro clubs limit the amount of time their older teens and adults use these pitches to absolute minimum because of their impacts on joints etc ?

Pointless referencing the Villa they’ve splashed the cash at Bodymoor And have their own ground their now