City have called in the experts to rescue the Valley Parade pitch.

World-renowned Sports Turf Research Institute, from Bingley, will offer help on a surface that has been slammed by players and managers.

City are ready to dig up the pitch – which has been battered by extreme winter weather – and start again at the end of the season. None of the local league cup finals will be played there.

Joint-chairman Mark Lawn said: “I don’t think the team look forward to playing on that pitch. I don’t think anyone would.

“But we’re bringing in the turfing specialists to give us a consultation and get the right ideas and advice. There’s no reason why we can’t get it better – when we were in League One we won best pitch in the division.

“There’s no disguising the weather over the last few months has been a lot worse in the north. Look at the pitches at Rotherham, Rochdale, Bury and anyone that’s around us and then compare that with Aldershot.”

Drainage has traditionally been a problem but Lawn admitted it would be far too expensive to replace the foundations under the pitch.

“It’s always going to be an issue unless we dig the whole thing up. But 1920s concrete seems to last.

“It wouldn’t be a very easy job to do anyway and you’d be looking at figures anything from £250,000 to £500,000, which obviously we can’t afford.

“But we’re going to get help from experts and we know we are getting the best with this company. I’m sure they will tell us exactly what to do.

“(Commercial director) Roger Owen has had some dealings with them through Morrisons and landfill sites. He knows the expertise coming in.

“Last year we had a lot of games on it after the end of the season. There are only going to be two now – a community one and another for the Burns Unit.

“We’re not doing all the league cup finals. We need to give that pitch a good eight weeks’ rest, whatever we do.”

Dagenham boss John Still was the latest critic of Valley Parade at the weekend and called the conditions “treacherous”.

City goal-scorer Ryan Kendall admitted there is little home advantage.

“The gaffer wants a passing team and wants us to get the ball down and play,” said the loan striker.

“We’ve got good players here but the pitch doesn’t help the boys. But there’s nothing we can do about it this late in the season.”

The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), based at the St Ives Estate, have a reputation around the globe.

This summer, they will be working as consultants on pitch maintenance at the World Cup in South Africa.

They relaid the Wembley surface last year and have also worked on Wimbledon, Twickenham, Ascot and Ireland’s Croke Park.