Ann Budge confirms Hearts will rip up Tynecastle pitch this week

The Tynecastle pitch was threadbare and rutted when Hearts faced Inverness on Saturday
The Tynecastle pitch was threadbare and rutted when Hearts faced Inverness on Saturday
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Hearts will rip up the pitch at Tynecastle this week after owner Ann Budge commissioned a replacement surface.

Work will begin immediately to dig up the existing turf, with the new surface to be in place for Hearts' next home match against Ross County on March 1.

The Edinburgh club will invest a six-figure sum in the project after deciding it is the only option to cure their uneven playing surface. They had been due to lay a new pitch this summer as part of their £12million main stand project.

A meeting on the Tynecastle pitch after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Inverness saw Budge consult groundstaff about the state of the pitch and potential solutions. Head coach Ian Cathro, director of football Craig Levein and chief operations officer Scot Gardiner were also involved in discussions.

Budge will now press ahead with plans to re-turf Tynecastle and JCBs are expected to begin digging up the surface right away.

As part of an update posted on the club website, she said: "As many of you will have seen for yourselves, our pitch has deteriorated badly over the last few weeks. While we knew that we would have to address the replacement of our now 19-year-old pitch sometime soon, we were hoping that it would see us through to the end of this season.

"However, having carefully monitored the issues and having consulted a number of experts in this field, we have taken the decision to address the problem now. We have, therefore, commissioned SIS (UK) Ltd, the industry leader in the field, to re-turf our pitch.

"The work is scheduled to start this week, and we are assured, it will be completed well in time for our next home game against Ross County. While this will add a few additional management and logistical challenges for many of us based at Tynecastle, we are comfortable that it is the right course of action.

"Importantly, it can be achieved without impacting our construction programme."