SPFL could vote to banish artificial pitches from Premiership, but lower leagues hold key influence
Kilmarnock and Hamilton’s relegation from the top flight of Scottish football could bring about a call for policy change in the SPFL Premiership.
Both clubs will play in the Championship next season and their places at the top table taken by Dundee and Hearts whose Dens Park and Tynecastle grounds use grass pitches.
Only Livingston remain in the top flight with a plastic pitch following the drop of the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire sides – which has opened up the possibility of a vote to outlaw the divisive surfaces from the highest point in Scottish football.
Just nine of the top flight's 12 teams would be required to back a ban, according to the Scottish Daily Mail, which could take a proposal forward. However an enforced rule change in the SPFL would also require 75 per cent of members across all 42 clubs to be implemented, and that could complicate matters.
Currently 17 of the 42 clubs use synthetic surfaces – including clubs such as Falkirk, Raith Rovers and Queen of the South who have Premiership ambitions shared by the deposed duo Kilmarnock and Hamilton. Queen’s Park are another and currently share Falkirk’s plastic pitch with plans to lay similar at Lesser Hampden as part of the Glasgow ground's revamp.
Their votes would be key for the requisite numbers for change – or not – in the top flight.
Next season the Premiership will have just Livingston’s plastic pitch. The Championship will include four – QOS, Raith, Killie and Hamilton. Numbers increase into League One where only Peterhead’s and Dumbarton’s grounds will be grass. League Two will have four at Annan, Kelty, Edinburgh and Stenhousemuir.