Sutton takes aim at poor standard of Livingston’s pitch

Chris Sutton has lambasted the use of plastic pitches in the Scottish Premiership and condemned Livingston to the Championship next season in the aftermath of Celtic’s 3-0 victory yesterday afternoon. It’s been the subject of much debate amongst the footballing universe in this country about whether or not teams should be allowed to avoid having grass pitches that need properly maintained in order to install synthetic surfaces which are horrible to play on and can cause numerous injuries.

Since Hamilton Academical were in the top flight, we’ve had Livingston and Kilmarnock in the highest division in the country with these sorts of surfaces and it hasn’t done much for the image of Scottish football outside of the country, where they think it’s a backwater. Many jump to the defence of football in this place at times with detractors (mainly down South), including Sutton on numerous occasions for various reasons.

However, it cannot be denied that the use of plastic pitches hasn’t been for the betterment of the game in Scotland. As the Sky Sports Scotland cameras panned in live on Celtic versus Livingston, you were wincing at the bobbling of the ball on that surface and the risks it caused to health and safety of both sets of players on the day. Hoops fans in particular were dreading impact injuries to either Cameron Carter-Vickers or Reo Hatate who’ve only recently returned from spells on the sidelines.

Former Celtic hero Sutton, who played in both England and Scotland throughout his career has emphatically condemned the pitches which now look like being less abundant moving into next season before they are gone forever the year after. Speaking on his regular spot via BBC’s 606 phone-in show, via Football Scotland, he said: “My gripe is the pitch. The plastic pitch, the state of the pitch. It’s not a good plastic pitch. It was dry, it was awful. It’s not conducive to fast-flowing, good football. Livingston are going to get relegated and it some respects, because of the pitch, I say good riddance to them. It’s awful.

“In the Scottish Premiership, they shouldn’t have plastic pitches. I think there’s a vote later on this season about whether they’re going to continue with them. Kilmarnock have got one as well, but come on. It’s shocking. I’ve never seen a good game on a plastic pitch. It’s the Scottish Premiership, the top league in Scotland. Scottish football is better than that.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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