0 Leeds United's new pitch explained as innovative technology aims to prevent Elland Road slips

Leeds United are installing a brand-new, state-of-the-art drainage system underneath the turf at Elland Road

Elland Road was host to emotional moments, heartfelt goodbyes and some enthralling football throughout the 2020/21 season.

Leeds United's home record stood at eight wins, five draws and six defeats last term - the seventh-best in the division.

To have maintained such a level of performance was reason to be cheerful, especially for a team only just returning to the top flight after such a lengthy absence.

One of the subplots to Leeds' home fixtures though, particularly in the winter months, was the Elland Road turf.

On numerous occasions, the surface appeared to cut up under sliding challenges, leading to many players struggling to find their footing.

Metaphorically, while Leeds found their groove in the Premier League with relative ease - the same could not be said of Elland Road at times.

Following the 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton and Hove Albion in January, evasive action was taken - a £300,000 payment was made to bring in Tottenham Hotspur's spare state-of-the-art turf, in order to somewhat resolve the issue.

This summer, Elland Road is undergoing a more permanent makeover, as the turf has been torn up, and will be replaced, with a new drainage system underneath.

This is the crucial element to the pitch renovations as Leeds' old drainage system dated back to the mid-1990s.

Consequently, its efficiency had waned over the past 25 years, leading to the type of issues witnessed last season.

The new system - Permavoid - is dubbed as an industry leader in this regard.

"A lightweight and durable polypropylene interlocking modular storage system with an exceptionally high compressive strength", is how it is dubbed on Hewitt Sportsturf's website - the company tasked with renovations.

Hewitt's are also doing work on Leicester City's King Power Stadium at present, as well as having a back catalogue of previous high-profile clients.

This method is championed due to the fact there is no requirement for in-ground water storage tanks or "technical installations such as pumps".

Hewitt's also boast a green benefit to their Permavoid installation technology.

They claim: "Permavoid saves on construction costs, maintenance, labour, water and energy consumption and replanting, compared to traditional installation methods."

It is hoped that this will help drain the excess water from the soil at Elland Road, ensuring that during periods of heavy rainfall, the pitch will maintain a consistently healthy level of moisture, as opposed to becoming too saturated.


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