Luton Town boss Gary Brabin can envisage the return of ‘plastic pitches’ in English football within the next ten years as he responded to Football League chief operating officer Andy Williamson who announced this week that there is a “clear appetite” among some of his members for the use of artificial surfaces.
The Hatters were one of the few clubs who had an Astroturf pitch before they were banned in all top four divisions in 1995, but they have since been sanctioned by FIFA, UEFA and are used in many countries.
“I genuinely can see that something like that could happen in the next ten years or so.”
Luton had an artificial pitch at Kenilworth Road between 1985 and 1991 when similar ones like at QPR and Oldham were widely criticised but technology has changed.
He said: “It’s not like the Astroturf of old which was like playing on a car park with a load of sand on. It was rock hard and made a massive difference. The way it has progressed now, it’s not grass but you are getting a consistency from it.”
With so many clubs in need of new income streams:
“There is revenue to be made from having it with links to local schools, councils and stuff like that, so it’s more than just a fixture thing. Long term, I think it is good business for clubs. I was at TNS where we had it and we generated a lot of money from off-field activities.