Ange Postecoglou experienced the astro-pitch at Livingston last season and he’s not the first Celtic manager to publicly state a view that these type of pitches should have no place in Scottish football.
In a week when Dundee United joined Motherwell in being turfed out of European football in a humiliating manner a debate has begun on how to improve our game so that these increasingly regular hammerings don’t continue to happen.
The easiest one is simply to insist that the games are played on grass and if there are financial implications to converting pitches like the ones at Kilmarnock and Livingston then that could be met by all the clubs contributing to solve at least one of the many problems in the Scottish game.
Older supporters will recall that Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park used to be one of the finest playing surfaces in Scottish football. Today we’ll see one of the worst.
On Friday afternoon the Celtic manager admitted that he would rather that games in the Scottish premiership weren’t played on on artificial surfaces like the one his team will have to negotiate today. Anyone remember the point made by Brendan Rodgers that he’d never seen a good game played on thase surfaces?
Ange though won’t let his players use the astro-pitch as an excuse for any failings today, as he talked through his own thoughts on the matter.
“Do I like them? No. They change the game,” Ange stated, as reported by Scottish Sun. “Do I think the top league should have them? Preferably not.
“But I understand why they are there and while they are there you just have to deal with them. As much the artificial pitches try to replicate what happens on a grass pitch, it’s a different game.
“That’s my preference. I don’t like them, I don’t think it’s as good a spectacle for the fans, which is the ultimate business we are in,” Ange continued. “But I can understand why clubs have them. There are financial considerations that thankfully our club doesn’t have to deal with. Others do and that’s why they make those decisions.”
It’s unlikely that with these pitches are going to be removed from the Scottish game but it is clear that the spectacle would improve, we’d have better games and if that means financial assistance for the clubs then that should be looked at seriously.
— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) August 14, 2022
📍 Rugby Park
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 14, 2022