Undersoil Heating Beyond a Championship Budget

Editorin Football

Town chief executive Simon Clegg says the club could look at the installation of undersoil heating as part of pitch improvements but only once the Blues are back in the Premier League. Clegg says the six-figure cost of such work is beyond the budget of a Championship side.

Clegg told TWTD: "We will look at lots of things in a Premier League scenario, including potentially the laying down of a new pitch and that is the time that you'd want to do it. But that would be a six-figure commitment. You can't do it on a Championship budget."

He admits that Saturday's abandoned game against Middlesbrough might have stood a greater chance of being completed if the club had undersoil heating: "We'll never know but possibly verging on the probably would be my view of it."

Saturday's match was the first abandoned Portman Road fixture since November 1972. Then, a fuse blew at an electrical sub-station causing a floodlight failure in the 61st minute of a league game against Coventry with the Blues a goal down. They eventually won the restaged match 2-0.

The only other senior match abandoned at Portman Road since the club turned professional was in November 1948 when an FA Cup first round tie against Aldershot was brought to an early halt in the 63rd minute due to fog with Town a goal ahead. The Shots won the rerun 3-0.

Last season's Watford game was one of only two postponed during former groundsman Alan Ferguson's 12-year spell at Town - new man Ben Connell took over in the summer - and Clegg says the club has generally had a good record with the heated bubble purchased in the late 1990s: "This is the first season that we've had a requirement in the Championship to have pitch protection which we've already had for around 15 years. How many games have we had called off in that time

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