Chief Executive Mark Devlin updates fans on playing surface.
Brentford FC CEO Mark Devlin has used tonight’s programme to update supporters on the Griffin Park pitch. The surface attracted criticism in the aftermath of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town following works undertaken this summer to improve its drainage.
Writing in his usual programme column for the Capital One Cup game with Oxford United, he gave the background behind the works undertaken this summer.
“At the end of last season, the decision was taken, which required significant investment, to install new drainage underneath the pitch,” said Devlin. “The decision was based on the fact that a few games last season came very close to being postponed following heavy rainfall in the 48 hours immediately prior to the matches.
“The same was true of the two main pitches at the Training Ground. Following the drainage work, the pitch was levelled and reseeded. It was one of the driest June months on record, but the pop up irrigation systems were able to provide water.
“You will probably recall that the day before our friendly match with Stoke City there was very heavy rainfall. In fact I am advised that seven weeks worth of rain fell on the Griffin Park pitch in 24 hours. The good news was that the new drainage did its job, and the pitch was free of surface water.
Despite the works, the pitch attracted unwanted attention and Devlin stated he has asked the contractors for the pitch to be re-laid.
“However, most people agreed that far more damage was caused than we could have expected,” said Devlin. "Our pitch maintenance contractors, who have, incidentally, been responsible for the decent surfaces of the past couple of seasons, worked tirelessly on the surface ahead of the Ipswich game.
“Unfortunately, as was abundantly clear to all, more damage was caused and there remain unstable areas of the pitch and I have asked for a complete a re-lay of the pitch as soon as it can be worked in. The Players and fans deserve better. To say we are hugely disappointed is an understatement.
“Searching questions have been asked of all those involved in the pitch construction process.
“It is an entirely unsatisfactory position to be in, and all our efforts are focused on the solution and doing it as quickly as possible.”
Tonight’s Bees Review programme is on sale for £2.