Groundsman warns of pitch repair bill

0613130 SSFF craig surgeon 'Craig Surgeon, Head Groundsman at Starks Park at the South Stand goal-mouth showing the state of the pitch - at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
0613130 SSFF craig surgeon 'Craig Surgeon, Head Groundsman at Starks Park at the South Stand goal-mouth showing the state of the pitch - at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

RAITH Rovers could be facing a £30,000 bill to fix their weather-ravaged pitch, head groundsman Craig Surgeon has warned.

Rovers suffered their first home postponement in over two years on Saturday after the Stark’s Park pitch failed a morning inspection ahead of the visit of Partick Thistle.

A condition called black layer has penetrated the soil, leading to drainage problems, and overnight rain left parts of the surface water-logged.

Surgeon has told club directors that the pitch is likely to require expensive summer repair work.

He said: “We had contractors in on Monday and they have advised us to rip it up at end of the season.

“The top two inches need to come off the pitch so we’re looking at around £30,000.

“As soon as I get the official quote in at the start of next week, the board will need to sit down and discuss it.

“I think they know they are going to have to get it done. There’s the Celtic money gone.”

Tuesday’s scheduled reserve fixture at home to Cowdenbeath was also called off in a bid to protect the grass ahead of Saturday’s visit of Dumbarton.

Wednesday’s snow and rain came as a further setback, although Surgeon was hopeful a delivery of 20 tonnes of sand would help restore the pitch to a playable state.

“The sand will make the pitch look white, so it won’t look the best, but if it makes the game go ahead, that’s the most important thing,” he explained.

Working without the resources of bigger clubs, Surgeon, along with fellow ground staff Tony Coventry and George Sutherland, have had to do all of the work manually.

“Unfortunately we’ve not got the machinery so the three of us having been out with a fork working our way around the pitch,” he said.

“Laying the sand will be another big job.”