Another new pitch for Wembley
06 Mar 2010 - 15:39:34
Wembley bosses have been forced to re-lay the troublesome pitch again following recent criticism from Manchester United, Aston Villa and England officials.
The surface has failed to sufficiently cope with recent downpours in the capital and Red Devils chief Sir Alex Ferguson believes the poor conditions may have contributed to Michael Owen's season-ending hamstring injury that forced him out of their 2-1 Carling Cup Final win against Villa last Sunday.
Despite Ferguson's concerns, the FA have played down his views but they have forked out around £90,000 for the new turf to be put down.
An FA spokesman said: "The groundstaff did very well to stage the Carling Cup, despite around 80mm of rain in the week with a further 40mm the night before the match, and they used a canopy to shield the pitch from the rain on Saturday night and on Sunday.
"They worked round the clock and could not have done more. Conditions were better ahead of the England match, but the pitch was still not good enough for our liking.
"Ultimately, it has not fared well through what has been an extremely harsh winter and it needs to be replaced.
"The stadium caters for football and non-football events, so replacing the pitch more than once a year is the reality of a multi-purpose venue."
Work is expected to start immediately and will be ready for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final between Carlisle United and Southampton on March 28.