The Groundsman

July 2012

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the Groundsman July 2012 COMMENT 3 Real thinking Even though the BBC Sport website reports from the Football League's annual general meeting that the League's artificial pitches consultation has been met with "widespread opposition", at the time of going to press the League says it has "no plans" to release a statement on the subject. The BBC reported that "the Premier League and Professional Footballers' Association were among the official bodies against the re-introduction of synthetic surfaces – and that there is no support for the idea in the Championship; just two League One clubs are keen on the idea". It also said that League Two clubs voted 13-11 in favour, though "this would not be enough to push through any change in regulations and there is not thought to be any realistic prospect of a club tabling an official proposal in the near future". So, it appears our own efforts as part of that consultation process – which I understand drew around 1,700 responses from clubs, fans and official bodies - were certainly not in vain! The fact that the League has decided against the introduction of a rule change to allow artificial turf into its competitive structure signals a 'ray of light' that stakeholders are recognising the benefits of natural turf, that natural turf is the preferred surface of the majority and that the overall quality of football pitches within the League is revered throughout the world thanks to the modern, technological advances made in natural turf and the skill of the groundsman charged with maintaining football pitches today. Artificial turf has advanced and we have to accept that. Artificial turf does though require maintenance and clubs should carefully consider all associated costs alongside any perceived benefits. Indeed, the IOG already provides training (and a dedicated online resource) for the maintenance of synthetic surfaces. The jury is clearly still out in terms of the real-life economics of artificial playing surfaces, let alone other issues including the environmental and health related issues and on-going studies regarding the potential for player injuries. As always, the IOG stands ready to assist football in raising standards regardless of the choice of surface, and we will continue to champion on behalf of our members and ground staff generally. On another note, hearty congratulations to IOG Life Member Peter Dury who was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to groundsmanship. Peter, of course, is the man behind the IOG's renowned Performance Quality Standards. CONTENTS 4-12 16-21 Industry News Feature - A taylor-made lesson in excellence… 22-24 26-27 Feature - Just champion! Feature - Inspiring new 'customers' 28 29-31 Weather STAL - Sustainable drainage for sports surfaces 32-33 STAL - Fertilisers Technical Update 34-35 STAL - Fuel Quality Technical Update 36-37 38 39 40-41 42-47 Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, Institute of Groundsmanship Editorial address: 28 Stratford Office Village Walker Avenue Wolverton Mill East Milton Keynes MK12 5TW Tel: 01908 312511 MANAGING EDITOR Colin Hoskins Tel: 01634 832 221 IOG MEMBERSHIP AND GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01908 312511 MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS Sue Fernandes Tel: 01908 312511 SUBSCRIPTIONS £65 UK £76 Europe £105 Rest Of World 48 49-51 DESIGN TSP Media Gemma Brownhill ADVERTISEMENT SALES TSP Media Paul Hawkins Tel: 01952 234 000 STAL - Here comes the sun STAL - Play is serious business STAL - Scoring at Euro 2012 Product Showcase - In Action Feature - Young IOG Directors in America Recruitment Classifieds FOLLOW US Twitter: @the_iog Facebook: search for Institute of Groundsmanship The Groundsman is published monthly by the Institute of Groundsmanship. All material is copyright of the Institute of Groundsmanship and may not be reproduced without permission. The publishers do not accept responsibility for any advertisement appearing in the Journal and cannot be held liable for editorial omissions or errors. The views expressed in the Journal are not necessarily those of the Institute of Groundsmanship.

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