Statement regarding the condition of the JD Stadium pitch
As a club we are aware of recent concerns from the fans over the condition of certain areas of the pitch at the JD Stadium.
We knew that we had localised issues with the pitch before the Wycombe Wanderers game and we were in the process of doing some remedial work in these areas, due to the fact that some of the sand slits had capped over because of excess rainfall and natural soil movement.
The areas in concern have now become substantially bigger after the effects of the Wycombe Wanderers game, which in the opinion of many shouldn't have gone ahead. It was obvious when you arrived at the ground on the morning of the game that there were issues with the pitch and the weather. Come the 3pm kick-off, the pitch was holding a large amount of water due to continued snowfall on both Friday and Saturday. As the game continued it was obvious that the ball wasn't travelling across the surface and the players were finding it difficult to play in the conditions; which at that point the game should have been stopped in order to prevent further damage to the pitch and player injury.
The Club can't say enough about the effort the ground-staff put in last week to get the pitch in a suitable condition for Saturday's game against Carlisle United - they did a fantastic job as the game went ahead despite some doubts.
Since coming to the Club we have strived to deliver the best possible playing surface at the JD Stadium, so we are disappointed that the surface isn’t in the terrific condition that it was in at the start of the season, but we are confident it will be back to its pristine state after renovation and the continued hard work and maintenance from the ground staff.
We are now investigating the possibility of re-turfing the affected areas of the pitch in order to bring it back to a better standard.