Pitch imperfect


The pullaver in recent weeks over plastic pitches has become a serious distraction from the more relevant business of the job on top of them.

Whether you agree with manager Mark Warburton’s assertions regarding their merits or otherwise, there is effectively little point flogging the dead horse that is their existence in Scottish football.

Rangers have, several times this season, travelled to plastic pitch stadiums and won comfortably – the Excelsior v Airdieonians, Indodrill v Alloa and Palmerston v QoS all stand out as complete strolls ‘on the plastic park’ for Warbs’ men so ultimately it really does not hold a great deal of water to complain about them.

Yes, playing on such a surface for three matches in a row is not ideal, but it is also moot to debate the pros and cons endlessly as it is what it is.

Rangers travel to Palmerston tomorrow in the knowledge star striker Martyn Waghorn appears to have busted his flush for this season, sadly, and knowing victory, after last week’s disappointing draw in Alloa, is borderline essential to maintain distance to their rivals.

But the pitch surface just is not and should not be any issue. Unfortunately it has been, with the Magic Hat blaming Killie’s 3G arena for Waghorn’s ailments. Injuries happen in sport, and mulling over the cause does not reverse them. Warbs has the depth at his disposal to overcome the adversity of losing his leading striker, and that is where his focus should lie.

Whether he is right or wrong is a matter of opinion, the point here is it is done, past, and Rangers need to move on and deal with the further obstacles standing between them and promotion.

One of those obstacles will be in Dumfries tomorrow, and James Fowler’s men have a knack of proving themselves especially stubborn opposition to the Ibrox outfit. After the drubbing they received on their own patch early this season, they nearly nabbed a point at Ibrox but for Waghorn’s last-second headed winner.

Expect them to be similarly stubborn tomorrow, plastic pitch or no plastic pitch.


  1. If you think this discussion is going nowhere – you're right. Teams are not going to replace their plastic pitches. However, Warbs is 100% correct to make an issue out of this. There is no doubt Waghorn's injury was made worse by his contact with the plastic surface. We have now lost our 28 goal leader for God knows how long.
    That means this is more than a "distraction" as you say. Let's see if you're so charitable a few games from now if the Gers lose form due to the loss of the league's top scorer.

  2. Warbs is totall correct, plastic pitches are taking Scottish football backwards, Scotland are a joke and a bigger one if more follow suit

  3. Plastic pitches are definitely hazardous but the plastic refs are worse, it's like they're on a string manouvered by the SFA, any team challanging a certain team seems to get constant bad decicions or any team facing same certain team the week after gets a man sent off.

    • You talk in Circles kinda like the Astralian Wabbity Bird. It flies round in circles until it finally flies up it`s own Ar@#$se.

  4. My promising running career was jeopardised through playing a friendly match on a plastic pitch, i've also witnessed some other severe injuries not to mention several gashes to childrens legs, there are now reports that they may cause cancer (case still being looked into).
    Where there is any doubt on safety grounds why take the chance?.

  5. The last man challange when Waghorn was clean through running towards goal was a foul a foul which had been committed on grass would definitely not lacerated the skin, there is proof of the danger, any player can have any medical condition including hiv, this extra risk of peoples wounds being subject to this is of great concern, yes people can bleed on the field but they are then put off to get the wound dressed, what if someone else lacerates thier skin at the same place?, grass surfaces are porous plastic isn't the blood stays posibly causing a life threatening illness, we can't take the risk.

  6. Murray park has a synthetic pitch and according to the rangers website, " this revolutionary surface mimics real grass and is used by other top clubs such as Ajax". Few clubs in Scotland are blessed with the cash and training facilities that rangers have at their disposal. Warburton should shut his mooth and stop greetin'.Rangers can't boast about their "state of the art" artificial pitch on their website whilst simultaneously moaning about players getting injured on synthetic pitches. Rangers have more than enough players on the pay roll to coverl Waghorn's absence. Think of the players at alloa, Hamilton, Q of the S who have to play all their home matches on synthetic pitches. Move on Warburton!

    • couldn't agree more about the plastic training pitches , and the manager is beginning to get on my nerves with his constent moaning , plastic pitches , pitch sizes ,referees , etc , get on with your job

  7. Elephant in the room is the fact the Ibrox playing surface looks very poor now. Warbs says surface is more important than signing a top player so why is he not pushing the board to sort out the Ibrox surface???

  8. Apart from the financial considerations,has any club, association or individual player come out and categorically state that artificial surfaces are superior to grass in producing top class football entertainment? NONE is the answer I would hazard a guess.Logic and reason in Scottish Football has long since evaporated in the 21stC.We are inferior to Iceland,Eire, Northern Ireland, Wales and Albania. Fact or fiction?

  9. Warbs made a comment on the plastic pitch and the media have inflated it ! For 13.5 mins in the presser they asked question after boring inane question trying to get him to say something they could feed on and whip Rangers with. There is an issue with plastic and i agree with Warbs. It is about quality of product for the players and the fans.Scottish football clearly needs to generate more revenue and to do that it needs to up its game and the quality and consistency of the product as a whole. Starting with Rangers back where they belong.

  10. Warbs is now being criticised for complaining about 3G pitches when we train on them at Auchinhowie…. Difference is we train on 5G. Best artificial surface available on the market and about 3 x the price of 3G. 3G is now 20 years old!! And not fit for playing professional sport of ANY kind, not just football. 5G is a different matter entirely

  11. What the feck is going on?

    Holt and HALLIDAY get long term contracts a few weeks ago…..great bit of business everyone agrees.

    A few weeks on and the bus is now in full reverse ……a 1 year deal for McKay!

    Keeping them hungry says Warbs……..this is obviously drivel. Lo g term contracts gives a selling club much more power when negotiating a transfer.

    McKay is now free to sign a deal with another club in January ffs.

    There's more to this than meets the eye.

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