New pitch shelved
By Dave Saltman,
It is easy to see the worsening crisis in football, Wolverhampton Wanderers, a club which has enjoyed the fortunes of a wealthy benefactor, pulled the plug at the eleventh hour on a much needed and over due pitch reconstruction.
The plans, materials and labour were in place to start the gravel base and fibre sand surfaced new pitch; but then the clubs season came to an abysmal and abrupt end, with only the prospects of another year of first division football to look forward to.
Well that was that, the hopes and aspirations of all those involved were gone, as they were again left high and dry with a pitch that has inadequate drainage, an old and buried concrete foundation running the length of the pitch from goal to goal (the original east stand) and even the occasional spring.
Okay, the price of new stadium pitch constructions aren't cheap, they come in around the half million pound mark, but in the relative scheme of football club life, the same money isn't much to buy a player with, is it?
I fear that the collapse of ITV's digital service has probably been the final proverbial nail.
And there it was, back to the drawing board for another year then, keeping the pitch going and praying to all Gods that record rainfalls are a thing of the past. A rushed second and more cunning plan was brought to the fore- some drainage-hooray, some sand slits-double hooray and the Koro to strip off the advancing meadow grass-lets have a party!
Once the 75mm perforated pipes have been laid in the trenches, they will be backfilled with 10mm pea gravel and then root zone to the top.
The next step will be with the Koro to fraize mow the pitch, removing all signs of the Poa annua (annual meadow grass) and leaving a fresh, clean surface.
With all the vegetation removed, the drainage experts will install sand slits at 90 degrees to the new drains at 500mm centres.
The surface will be tilthed to produce a seedbed, seeded with Bar Stadia rye mix, and top dressed with approximately 100 tonnes of sand.
300kg's of a pre-seed fertiliser (9:7:7) is also due to be applied to give the seed a boost as it germinates and starts its life of wear.
To next season then, perhaps rice won't grow any more at Molineux because it would seem that there is indeed life after disappointment.