Artificial pitches

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Durnford

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Artificial pitches

Post by Durnford on Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:23 am

Yesterday we saw a world of difference between our 100% natural tattie field and the 3G artificial surface at Airdrie

Personally I would love to have a proper all weather pitch at Livingston; the quality of the football, once the guys got used to the bounce, was a joy to watch however the real fly in the ointment must be the cost.

As I understand it the current cost of a full size pitch is in the region of £350k or about £400 per head for all the Livi supporters that normally turn up for a game.

The council aren't going to shell out that sort of money at a time when they are tightening belts and letting contractors go.

Sponsorship might work but presumably only if they could do similar branding to the RBS / Famous Grouse that you see on the pitch in Murrayfield for the six nations.

People talk about the amount of additional revenue it could bring in and how it could reduce costs - well that may be true but it doesn't help with the up-front costs.

Airdrie were advertising other events like Elton John and his band but again that doesn't help with the up-front costs.

Has anyone any thoughts or ideas about how this could be brought into reality?

orco

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by orco on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:53 pm

This is a council election year so maybe a wee visit, email or letter to your local councillors might awaken their thinking.

As it stands at the moment the stadium is not much good for anything more than a game every other Saturday during the football season. It could be pointed out that it would be a central asset to the area where the facilities could be used regularly by the West Lothian community.

I think it is the officers rather than the councillors who are reluctant to upgrade the pitch. At the end of the day though the councillors make the decisions so maybe a bit of constant lobbying would make them more aware.
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:33 pm

Pretty sure Annan got a grant to put down their 3G pitch, as long as it's open to the community you can get them. I don't know the ins and outs of charging the public for the use of it when you get grants though, or being able to hire it out for other events. But if PT teams like Annan, Alloa, and Airdrie (when they got it) can afford to do it then I don't see why Livi can't, just have to contact those other clubs for advice on how they got theirs.

Just did a quick search on Annan, yep they get a Govt grant, plus some help from the council and a local farmer. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-18143420


The finance for the "third generation" surface includes money seized from criminals in the Scottish government's Cashback for Communities scheme.
The works contract has gone to the Malcolm Group who aim to complete the project before the new season starts.
Funding has also come from Dumfries and Galloway Council and Sport Scotland.
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Afro

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Afro on Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:39 pm

I don't see how we can't afford to have one. Increases the stadium's usability throughout the week, brings in money, brings in good publicity, brings youngsters to the stadium potentially getting them along on a Saturday... If Annan, Alloa, Airdrie, Clyde, QoS all have one, why not us?
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:26 pm

Forgot Stenny and East Fife too, these clubs must've found a way to get outside funding because they suerely couldn't have afforded them any other way.

ol1vercloff

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by ol1vercloff on Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:06 pm

We need to get some sort of playable pitch sorted soon, it's a disgrace! Tonight's game would have gone ahead if the pitch was looked after better. What is going on?!

orco

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by orco on Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:15 pm

ol1vercloff wrote:We need to get some sort of playable pitch sorted soon, it's a disgrace! Tonight's game would have gone ahead if the pitch was looked after better. What is going on?!

Lack of money I'd say.

ol1vercloff

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by ol1vercloff on Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:26 pm

Surely maintaining the pitch is one of the most important expenses for a football club? That and paying the wages. Weren't we getting a loan of some groundskeeping equipment from the Janny at St Margarets High School?

Durnford

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Durnford on Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:01 pm

orco wrote:
ol1vercloff wrote:We need to get some sort of playable pitch sorted soon, it's a disgrace! Tonight's game would have gone ahead if the pitch was looked after better. What is going on?!

Lack of money I'd say.

Lack of management know-how more like. A blind man with a one-eyed dug could have seen this was going to happen when the pitch started to cut up in September but Wilson still got rid of the full-time groundsman.

How much did calling the game off tonight cost the club - probably at least a grand in wasted food; probably near enough the same in programmes let alone the cost of security and parking personnel who would have already been at the ground.
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Bertie Bassett

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Bertie Bassett on Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:39 pm

Ah but perhaps they have strengthened their position by having a strong argument for replacing the pitch with a plastic one.
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:28 pm

FFS Bertie when did you become the optimist? Laughing

Really hope they can come up with a solid proposal to get a 3G pitch, it's going to be murder playing another season on that pitch if they don't. Can't expect to attract fans down to watch home games when they're having to watch scrappy football over a cut up pitch, making it a lottery who wins.

Durnford

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Durnford on Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:31 am

Trying to remember who in the championship had an artificial pitch; Falkirk were one weren't they?

orco

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by orco on Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:28 am

Queen of the South is another.
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:36 pm

And Alloa last season. Falkirk's pitch was worse than ours the season before they got their 3G pitch, I remember us playing a midweek game on it and Scougall just couldn't move with the ball without it getting stuck in the mud.

Killie have one in the Premiership.
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Afro

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Afro on Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:48 pm

There are 11 stadiums in the SPFL with artificial pitches - 7 of them are in Leagues 1 and 2. This article seems to be quite informative relating synthetic surfaces to Scottish football in particular, with a price of £500,000 being quoted for initial outlay. Granted, it's a huge outlay for a club of our size, but assuming young Knox is flogged for some of the figures being banded about, thats around 40% of the cost covered already. I doubt WLC will be wanting to be seen helping LFC significantly again, so where would such money come from?
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:01 pm

Where did Stenny, East Fife, Alloa (twice), Airdrie & Clyde get it from?

Already said Annan got a Govt community grant and the council to help them out, all of those clubs have less dosh than us but managed to get plastic pitches. And Alloa has done it twice now (they've just put down a new pitch this season). Accies must've put down at least 2, maybe 3, they kept having to rip it up when they got promoted to the SPL and then laid a plastic pitch again when they were relegated. Unless they were able to salvage their original one and use it again. Point is though none of those clubs have anymore resources than Livi, yet managed to get a 500K pitch.
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Afro

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Afro on Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:04 pm

Liviforever wrote:Where did Stenny, East Fife, Alloa (twice), Airdrie & Clyde get it from?

Already said Annan got a Govt community grant and the council to help them out, all of those clubs have less dosh than us but managed to get plastic pitches. And Alloa has done it twice now (they've just put down a new pitch this season). Accies must've put down at least 2, maybe 3, they kept having to rip it up when they got promoted to the SPL and then laid a plastic pitch again when they were relegated. Unless they were able to salvage their original one and use it again. Point is though none of those clubs have anymore resources than Livi, yet managed to get a 500K pitch.

Annan, as you said, benefitted from Government funding, which, without sounding condescending, probably came a lot easier for them given the lack of true artificial surfaces in Annan and the surrounding areas. I imagine that the remaining money required was found from directors and local businessmen.

Alloa, of course, have a very astute chairman in Mulraney and I imagine that whilst they may have received a grant of some sort, more than likely the cost has been covered by a soft loan from the chairman. It's also important to note that Alloa will have paid less this time around than before, as the foundations required for an artificial surface last around 30 years.

Hamilton, of course, are well-equipped still due to the money they've received in transfer fees recently. But, point still stands, they are of a similar size to ourselves.

Specifically, I would be looking at how both Clyde and Airdrie have installed artificial surfaces. They are of a smaller and similar size to us respectively, and also play in stadiums which they rent out. AFAIK, and I may be wrong, but I'm sure Broadwood is owned by the local council whereas the Excelsior is owned by a private company. Regardless, NLC are hardly flush with cash so someone must've put forward a very coherent business plan for a 4G installation. Why can't we?

Durnford

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Durnford on Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:26 pm

I imagine if you own your own ground then you can get finance.

Therefore the simple solution is to buy our ground and then to get finance

A plan with no pitfalls whatsoever - honest... Shocked
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:36 pm

Afro wrote:
Liviforever wrote:Where did Stenny, East Fife, Alloa (twice), Airdrie & Clyde get it from?

Already said Annan got a Govt community grant and the council to help them out, all of those clubs have less dosh than us but managed to get plastic pitches. And Alloa has done it twice now (they've just put down a new pitch this season). Accies must've put down at least 2, maybe 3, they kept having to rip it up when they got promoted to the SPL and then laid a plastic pitch again when they were relegated. Unless they were able to salvage their original one and use it again. Point is though none of those clubs have anymore resources than Livi, yet managed to get a 500K pitch.

Annan, as you said, benefitted from Government funding, which, without sounding condescending, probably came a lot easier for them given the lack of true artificial surfaces in Annan and the surrounding areas. I imagine that the remaining money required was found from directors and local businessmen.

Alloa, of course, have a very astute chairman in Mulraney and I imagine that whilst they may have received a grant of some sort, more than likely the cost has been covered by a soft loan from the chairman. It's also important to note that Alloa will have paid less this time around than before, as the foundations required for an artificial surface last around 30 years.

Hamilton, of course, are well-equipped still due to the money they've received in transfer fees recently. But, point still stands, they are of a similar size to ourselves.

Specifically, I would be looking at how both Clyde and Airdrie have installed artificial surfaces. They are of a smaller and similar size to us respectively, and also play in stadiums which they rent out. AFAIK, and I may be wrong, but I'm sure Broadwood is owned by the local council whereas the Excelsior is owned by a private company. Regardless, NLC are hardly flush with cash so someone must've put forward a very coherent business plan for a 4G installation. Why can't we?

Yeah exactly, I said that earlier on too, why not ask other clubs for advice on how to do it. If we can do the same then great, if not then at least we explored that avenue and can move on to another one. There must be several ways these clubs have got funds to lay a 3G pitch, and surely some of them would be suitable for us to use too.
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:41 pm

Durnford wrote:I imagine if you own your own ground then you can get finance.

Therefore the simple solution is to buy our ground and then to get finance

A plan with no pitfalls whatsoever - honest... Shocked

Nail on head D, from what I remember you've just hit on what the actual plan was, for the ground to be sold to this new consortium and then for them to lay a 3G/4G pitch. However the council didn't think they gave them enough information on how it would succeed, and that makes me nervous. Call me cynical but we've been down that road several times before with the likes of Flynn, Massone and Rankine.
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LiviCub

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by LiviCub on Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:57 pm

Agree that we should have an artificial pitch but no danger, the council won't approve or even listen to us until the club is dead and they can flog the land for private houses or another retail park.

That, or they won't see it as a sound investment until we're an established Championship club with an average home attendance of at least 1,700.
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Afro

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Afro on Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:00 pm

LiviCub wrote:Agree that we should have an artificial pitch but no danger, the council won't approve or even listen to us until the club is dead and they can flog the land for private houses or another retail park.

That, or they won't see it as a sound investment until we're an established Championship club with an average home attendance of at least 1,700.

I agree and disagree with you LC. Again, using Clyde/Broadwood/NLC as an example: AFAIK, Cumbernauld Colts' massive youth setup currently far more money for the council as opposed to Clyde's use of it two nights a week plus every second Saturday. In reality, it wouldn't really matter if 1 man and his dug or 10,000 punters turned up to watch Livi - it would be the money the pitch brought in outwith Saturday at 3pm which would be the real selling point from WLC's perspective. If an advanced artificial pitch was laid at Almondvale, it would in theory provide a central hub for youth teams across the town and in the surrounding areas. Not to mention that most of Livi's training would be brought into one place, considering the existing field turf's age.

I see they're also revamping the pitches behind Craigswood sports centre; between that, and the relatively new pitch at Murie, maybe that punts this idea onto the back burner, unfortunately?

I would be hopeful that whoever at the Tony Macarena is trying to make this happen would have the imagination to propose a system to WLC whereby LFC's flat rate currently paid on the rent is brought down, with a % of revenue brought in from a 4G pitch taken by the Council to supplement this. Hell, that may even work out better for us all round, but someone will have to crunch numbers instead of the current ambivalent proposal in place.
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Liviforever

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Liviforever on Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:40 pm

I don't think they planned renting it off the council Afro, Gordon Ford said a stadium company was set up to purchase the stadium from the council and then they were going to lay a 3G pitch, and hire it out to the community through the week, that was going to be separate from the football club. I'd imagine the football club would've then been paying rent to the stadium company instead of the council, at less than it's paying just now.
However the council knocked their offer back, saying there wasn't enough information on what their plans were.
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Bertie Bassett

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Bertie Bassett on Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:47 pm

I think there was also an objection based on the timescale being unrealistic.
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Afro

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Re: Artificial pitches

Post by Afro on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:09 pm

Liviforever wrote:I don't think they planned renting it off the council Afro, Gordon Ford said a stadium company was set up to purchase the stadium from the council and then they were going to lay a 3G pitch, and hire it out to the community through the week, that was going to be separate from the football club. I'd imagine the football club would've then been paying rent to the stadium company instead of the council, at less than it's paying just now.
However the council knocked their offer back, saying there wasn't enough information on what their plans were.

You're correct, and I appreciate that that was the original plan. However, given the original plans were sketchy at best, it would seem, surely a compromise whereby LFC and WLC are the main contributors to the pitch outwith grants etc, and each party takes a % of revenue from the pitch would be the most likely option?

I seriously doubt that even with the best will in the world, that the Council are going to sell the ground to anyone currently involved with the club unless their business plan is rock solid, and they have capital to match. Realistically, neither of those things exist at the moment, or will for the foreseeable future.

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