Leeds United chief reveals Elland Road pitch revamp plan highlights revenue gulf between Whites' and Spurs

Graham Smythin Football

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear has revealed the club are planning a 'full reconstruction' of the Elland Road pitch this summer.

Kinnear acknowledges that criticism of the playing surface has been warranted, but the shortened pre-season meant the planned reconstruction was unable to take place last summer.

The Whites' recent trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium brought home to Kinnear the gulf between the Whites home and the stadia of their Premier League rivals, when it comes to facilities and revenue generation.

"The visit to Spurs' spectacular new stadium reinforced the infrastructure gap that we face between where we are and where we need to be," he wrote in today's programme notes."

"The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium generates five times the revenue of Elland Road each and every matchday and this is a commercial advantage that transfers directly to the pitch."

"We left North London having reinforced our ambition to transform our home to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the bests stadia in Europe."

Leeds will start the job of bridging the gap at the end of the current season.

"This process will start in the summer with the key technical element, a full reconstruction of the Elland Road playing surface," said Kinnear.

"We had intended to do this last summer but the process takes 14 weeks and so simply couldn't be executed in a close season so dramatically shortened by the pandemic."

"The current Elland Road surface received justifiable criticism last year as the ancient drainage system was unable to deal with the torrential rain we experienced across December."

Kinnear insists the criticism is no reflection of the work that Elland Road staff carry out on the pitch.

"The criticism should not be levelled at our head groundsman Kiel or his excellent staff," he said.

"They are managing a pitch which is 25 years old and suffering from decades of under-investment."

"The fact that the pitch is even playable is a testament to Kiel's skills and should win him a Groundsman of the Year award. Everyone at the club knows that with the right investment Kiel and his team will make the Elland Road surface the best in the country."

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