Time to turf out the rugger boys

Discussion in 'Aviva Premiership / LV Cup' started by Vambo, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Vambo

    Vambo Guest


    t does the name Premier suggest? My definition would be something of the highest quality, not average or sub-standard. In most ways, our Premier League lives up to its billing. It's why we have four teams in the Champions League quarter-finals and why fans around the world watch our football.
    Yet, this afternoon, a Premier League game between Wigan and Bolton — which could be worth £30 million to each team — will be played on an appalling pitch. Survival in a first-class league could be settled on a third-class surface, and I don't know why it is happening in 2008.

    My only hope is that such an important relegation fixture is not decided by an unkind bounce or a ricochet off a divot.

    But there is no guarantee, judging by the state of the JJB Stadium in recent weeks since the Wigan Warriors rugby league team started their season.

    The Premier League have produced white papers and introduced endless regulations to ensure standards are met. There are even rules governing the showers in the dressing rooms.

    Yet, the quality of the football is put at risk by allowing other sports to spoil the pitch during the season. Wigan's rugby league team share their ground with Wigan Athletic and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see it will have an impact — you could tell that just by looking at the size of them. And, yes, now Reading have rugby union on their pitch. But I don't see why it's necessary, there is enough TV money coming in not to need other sports there.

    Anyone who saw the pitch when Arsenal played at Wigan last Sunday couldn't have been surprised the game finished 0-0. It was like being transported back to Derby's Baseball Ground in the Seventies.

    Nobody wanted to pass from A to B in case the ball hit a divot and deviated. They were forced to play no-risk football, hitting long balls. Everyone knows Arsenal don't like to play that way, but it's no good for Wigan either. How is Steve Bruce ever going to build a side around skilful players like Antonio Valencia and Jason Koumas on that bog?

    In my view, it's time for the Premier League to stop clubs allowing other sports on their pitch in the season. They have to maintain standards and there is nothing "Premier" about matches being made a lottery because of the pitch.

    And don't think I wasn't disappointed to see Wembley affected by an NFL game earlier in the season, prior to England-Croatia.

    I feel sorry for Steve Bruce and Gary Megson giving their team talks today. The pressure of a relegation six-pointer is bad enough and, as a manager, I know I'd have to take account of the pitch. Instead of stressing the passing game, I'd be telling my defenders to hammer it forward rather than take any risks.

    I remember going to Wembley to watch a League Cup final in 1969 between Swindon and Arsenal and it had just hosted the Horse of the Year Show. The pitch was churned up so you couldn't play decent football, it suited Swindon more than Arsenal to be honest, and they won.

    Times are meant to have moved on and when you pay good money to see the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Wayne Rooney show how good they are, you are short-changed if the surface is so uneven.

    Rugby league and rugby union are fine sports, enjoyed my millions, including myself. But they shouldn't be played on football grounds if important games descend into farce.

    The Premier League must ban rugby and other sports from their grounds.

    What a knobjockey!
    I guess he didn't notice howshite the JJB pitch was BEFORE we started playing rugby on it? Twat :toss:
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  3. Nidhogg

    Nidhogg Guest

    Good idea, ban one of the few interesting and exciting sports from England. Sorry, but Wigan's football matches just don't light my fire...
  4. Vambo

    Vambo Guest

    Wigan Warriors are fine. The JJB is owned by Dave Whelan and both the Warriors & Wigan Atheltic have long term leases. When our new owner took over the Warriors he negotiated a new 50 year lease so there is nothing anyone can do to stop us from playing there and the problems with the pitch cannot be blamed at our door anyway. Apparently Whelan is gonna splash out £500,000 on a new surface soon to try and sort it out once and for all.
    It's of more concern to the likes of London Irish and also Saracens if Watford once again regain premiership status although I must admit that I don't know the terms of their agreements.
  5. BLR

    BLR Guest

    Who lets this guy write in the paper? What a joker...although sounds a bit like the whinging the AFL clubs do over here....
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