0 PFA criticise Football League plans

NewDouglasParkThe Professional Footballers' Association has criticised Football League plans to introduce artificial pitches in Leagues One and Two.

Chairmen from the bottom two divisions indicated at a meeting in September that they are in favour of 3G surfaces being used from 2015-16.

The proposal could be approved at a further meeting in November.

"The PFA are surprised and disappointed by the recent decision," the PFA's Simon Barker told BBC Sport.

"It is a concern that the PFA, as representatives of the players, has not been asked to make representations before the club chairmen voted as, ultimately, it will be our members playing on these pitches."

Barker, assistant chief executive at the PFA, added that the League Managers Association had also not been consulted and raised fears over injuries and damage to the sport's integrity.

And he added that a survey of the PFA's members two years ago, conducted as part of a wider consultation by the Football League, saw players vote overwhelming against the reintroduction of artificial pitches.

Back in September, twenty-six out of forty-six chairmen voted in favour of introducing the surfaces, in theory, after watching a presentation on the benefits of 3G surfaces.

Barker believes that the enthusiasm from chairman for a return to artificial pitches is based on inflated promises of income generated by installing a 3G surface.

"It would seem that they are being driven by promises of increased commercial revenue streams and not for reasons of quality, integrity and safety," he said.

"Discussions we have had with knowledgeable sources within the game suggest that figures quoted from additional revenue from hiring out an artificial pitch are often hugely inflated."

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