Crawley make head groundsman redundant

Michael Dunford

Michael Dunford

First published in Sport by

Crawley have taken the drastic step of making their head groundsman redundant after being ordered to explain a series of postponements by the Football League.

Reds intend to contract out the maintenance of the problematic Stadium pitch following the departure of Matt Moss, who was the most recent casualty of the club’s cost cutting drive.

Assistant groundsman Tom Martin remains at the club but the majority of the work on the playing surface will be carried out by external contractors and Crawley Borough Council, who own the stadium.

The Football League have asked for a report on the reasons behind a run of five postponements since the turn of the year and what the club plan to do in the summer to ensure there is no repeat next season.

Chief executive Michael Dunford said: “A lot of football clubs will have a contract with a company to oversee the state of their pitch so it is not that unusual. We may do it in conjunction with the borough council or get in outside experts but that is something we will consider in the summer.

“We are having to make cuts across the football club at the moment but we are not short of people who are working on the pitch. Tom is only young but we have got some experienced advisors helping him while the borough council have only been too happy to help.

“A lot of work has been done in the last ten days or so and we are very happy with the progress that has been made. It has been a real team effort from all the staff at the club and we have got every chance of being able to stage a game on Saturday.”

Crawley are due to host Peterborough United on Saturday ahead of the visit of Stevenage on Tuesday after going nine weeks since their last home game in League One against Notts County of December 29.

The matches against Wolves, Stevenage, Tranmere and Carlisle as well as the FA Cup replay with Bristol Rovers were all postponed due to some of the heaviest rainfall since records began.

Dunford added: “The Football League have asked us to undertake a report on the playing surface but that is as you would expect. It is something all clubs who experience postponements are asked to do but the Football League understand that the weather we have had over the last couple of months has been unprecedented.”

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