Rangers boss wants artificial pitches banned in top flight

first_img“At the highest level to attract a better standard of investment, to provide a better product, would it not be better to have a better quality of grass pitch in the Premiership?“Down south, how many clubs have artificial pitches out of 92? Why is it banned? Why is not used? Are clubs not in financial distress down south?”Rangers released a statement concerning Waghorn’s injury on Thursday, describing the Rugby Park pitch as “unforgiving.” Kilmarnock hit back at the claim, labelling the Ibrox side’s criticism of the artificial playing surface as “ill-informed.” Rangers boss Mark Warburton has called for artificial pitches to be banned in Scottish football’s top flight after admitting Martyn Waghorn may miss the rest of the season through injury.The player sustained knee ligament damage on Kilmarnock’s plastic pitch during the Ibrox side’s Scottish Cup win on Tuesday, expressing his belief that the surface was directly responsible for the damage sustained.Warburton believes Scottish needs a better standard of playing surface to improve itself and attract a higher level of investment.“Not at the highest level,” he said when asked whether artificial pitches have a place in the Scottish game. The Ibrox boss made his view clear, adding: “There’s no doubt in our mind from a coaching perspective and a medical perspective that his injury wouldn’t have been of this nature had it not been for the pitch.“So Martyn Waghorn left that pitch with lacerations and immediate bruising. There’s no doubt about that so when we use the term ‘unforgiving’ we meant in terms of the hard aspect of the pitch.“He wouldn’t have had the same nature of injury that he has now. He’s had a scan which tells you we’ve looked inside the knee but the fact of the matter is he came off that pitch and our player had lacerations and immediate bruising.”New Kilmarnock manager Lee Clarke pointed out that Warburton had not raised his concerns about the pitch at Rugby Park after the match on Tuesday evening.“The comments are a general comment, they are not from any one individual connected to Rangers,” he said.“When I had a good conversation with Mark after the game – we get on really well, we have come up against each other many times in the English Championship and have a good relationship, myself, him and Davie Weir (Gers assistant) – the pitch was never mentioned.“The standard of it, the injury to Martyn Waghorn was never linked at all.“We know that we have the highest standard of synthetic surface required and we find injuries are picked up on grass pitches also.”Asked if he would have expected Warburton to say something about the pitch if he was unhappy, Clark, who will be in the technical area for the first time after taking over earlier in the week, replied: “If he was unhappy, yes.“I think it is a generalisation that has come from the football club.“It certainly hasn’t come from any one individual, there is no specific quotes from anybody, certainly from the football side of the club, the manager, assistant manager, doctor, physio.“But the clubs will deal with that, they have a good relationship.”Injured: Martyn Waghorn is out for a number of weeks. SNS Group“There’s a bigger picture here that we have talked about in terms of the surfaces, in terms of the quality of product at the highest level,” Warburton continued.“We know the facts about revenue, we’re not being ignorant to those facts, we understand the financial climate. But at the highest level there has to be a quality of product.“We did our research. Kilmarnock, as I believe, didn’t even want to train on their surface because of the stiffness, and the injuries and the impact of playing on a hard surface.“So it’s not just about one specific game, we’ll deal with it. We’ll go to Queen of the South, we’re looking forward to the game, and deal with it.“In my opinion, and after speaking to a lot of people, if you’re going to attract investment, attract sponsors, if you’re going to get a better standard of product, you do that by getting a higher quality of pitches.“I’m told that the Scottish weather couldn’t take good grass pitches – does it not rain in Manchester or Liverpool? It’s nonsense.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *