Raith Rovers chief Andrew Barrowman reveals potential £1.4m bill for new Stark's Park pitch

Andrew Barrowman has vowed to keep voicing Raith Rovers' objections to Premiership's upcoming artificial pitch ban (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)Andrew Barrowman has vowed to keep voicing Raith Rovers' objections to Premiership's upcoming artificial pitch ban (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)
Andrew Barrowman has vowed to keep voicing Raith Rovers' objections to Premiership's upcoming artificial pitch ban (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers chief executive Andrew Barrowman says Scottish Premiership clubs’ “very disappointing” decision to ban artificial pitches in the top flight for the start of the 2026-27 season could see Raith having to shell out up to £1.4 million to dig up and replace the existing 3G Stark’s Park surface if they get promoted.

Championship runners-up Rovers – only denied going up to the top flight last month when they lost the play-off final to Ross County – joined Falkirk, Hamilton Accies and Queen of the South in writing to the SPFL to protest the pitch proposal which was then ratified last week.

Barrowman told the Fife Free Press: "We heard at the tail end of last year that it was muted that this would potentially happen, so we’ve been going and gathering quotes.

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"We have been doing a lot of work on this over the last few months.

Stark's Park's 3G playing surface has been in use since summer 2018 (Pic by Roddy Scott/SNS Group)Stark's Park's 3G playing surface has been in use since summer 2018 (Pic by Roddy Scott/SNS Group)
Stark's Park's 3G playing surface has been in use since summer 2018 (Pic by Roddy Scott/SNS Group)

"Quotes to dig up our artificial pitch and replace it range from anything from £950,000 to £1.4 million. There are different options – obviously there are hybrid pitches too – but that’s the ball park figure.

"It’s really disappointing but we can cry about it or get on with it.

“Inconvenience is an understatement. It’s a real blow for clubs like ourselves.

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"I don’t agree with the decision. I think I made that clear in the joint statement along with the other clubs. I think we all made very valid and clear points on it and it is what it is.

"We have to go with it now. We can’t affect the decision that’s been made.

"We will continue to voice our opinion, voice our concerns and it remains to be seen if anything will change in the future.

"We will concentrate with what we can affect and if we go up it would be a nice problem to have.”

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In addition to the initial outlay, it is estimated that any new pitch would cost around £750,000 annually to maintain.

Barrowman said: "In Scotland we don’t get much natural light. So for grass to grow you need some sort of lighting in areas of the stadium, other clubs will be the same.

"It doesn’t get natural light at all with shading and stuff.

"You need a certain level of skill set in staff members, you need machinery, there are lots and lots of things which add to the cost, making it difficult to compute.”

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