Players concerned at state of Bradford's amateur football pitches (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Players concerned at state of Bradford's amateur football pitches
A probe into the state of Bradford’s amateur football pitches has found most clubs think at least three quarters are unacceptable or at best only average quality.
The report to next Thursday’s meeting of Bradford Council’s regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee is part of the district-wide Playing Pitch Strategy.
Consultants employed by the Council to assess the situation say: “Just under half (47 per cent) of football pitches in Bradford are rated as standard quality and 34 per cent are rated as good quality, which are located on a mixture of privately owned and/or managed sites and local authority sites.”
However, they note that players themselves take a different view, stating:“Leagues report that quality of pitches has deteriorated in the previous three years.
“Clubs predominantly rate pitches as overall unacceptable or average quality (79 per cent).”
The report notes one of the problems with deteriorating pitches is when they are over-played and that if the quality of grass pitches continues to deteriorate there may be an increase in demand to play on artificial pitches.
Earlier this year, the Telegraph & Argus highlighted footballers’ problems with the example of the Upper Seymour Street club, whose changing rooms had been repeatedly targetted by vandals.
Bradford Sunday Alliance League fixtures secretary Brian Goodall said since then things had got worse.
“Since your last report the vandals came back and finished the job, burning the changing rooms to the ground.
“They are trying to get some rebuilt and up to scratch, but we had to move the two teams based there to other clubs,” Mr Goodall said.
“At the moment at the Council-run pitches such as Peel Park, Avenue Road, Woodall and King George V clubs are saying that the grass just isn’t being cut and the lines are not marked out regularly.
“They feel the attitude is, ‘Well if you really care about it, do it yourselves’.
“Well, people say ‘we pay to play here plus our community charge, so we really are entitled to better facilities’.”
Mr Goodall said he feared traditional amateur football was under threat across Yorkshire.
“At a recent meeting I was told we lost 75 clubs across the county last year.
“We need better grounds and facilities for adults and youngsters if we are to keep everyone playing and bring more people into the game,” Mr Goodall said.
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