The Football League's consultation into artificial pitches suggests strongly that there is no significant interest amongst its member clubs to reintroduce them to the professional game. At the League's Annual General Meeting in Portugal, the BBC Sport website reports that the proposal to allow plastic surfaces has died a death after it got the thumbs down from both those present in Portugal, as well as those who replied to their consultation.
The League's meeting reveals a massive split amongst member clubs, with 13 out of League Two's 24 clubs saying that they want to see them brought in, but at Championship level clubs were unanimously against the idea. At League One level only two clubs wanted them introduced: Yeovil Town and Oldham Athletic were two clubs that had given the scheme positive vibes in the lead-up to the meeting, but it looks as though they were significantly in the minority.
The Football League have indicated that they received over 1,700 responses to their consultation earlier this year, with fans groups, refereeing bodies and leagues invited to respond. The Premier League and Professional Footballers' Association were two significant organisations to give it the thumbs down.
The meeting heard that the typical cost of installing such a surface to a professional standard was in the region of £500,000 - a dangerous amount of investment, given that promotion or relegation outside any divisions that did not allow plastic pitches would require that club to rip up the surface and replace it with grass.
As such, although the Football League have not formally said this to be the case, the level of opposition would suggest that this will be shelved for the foreseeable future.
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