Wisbech Town foot removal bill after inspectors rule pitch-side stones could be thrown
PUBLISHED: 12:32 24 March 2011
WISBECH Town Football Club have been forced to foot a bill of around £2,000 after inspectors ruled that stones around their new pitch could be picked up and thrown.
Diggers returned to the Tom Wood’s Beer Fenland Stadium on Sunday to remove more than 20 tonnes of road chippings, which Ridgeons League assessors deemed as dangerous “loose material”.
The club had spent £1,000 on the road chippings when they moved to their new ground last year - and now they have been forced to shell out almost the same sum to have the hazardous stones removed.
Director Dick Creasey, who has spent hours working to resolve the problem, said: “It’s something we have to do otherwise we get demoted from the league. We have got 75 per cent of it done.
“An assessor came about four weeks ago to check the ground was up to scratch. We failed for the Ridgeons Premier Division because of those stones. It’s all about fears that people will throw them at the officials.
“Personally, I think if somebody is going to pick up stones and throw them at officials then they might jump over the fence to get to them.”
Nigel Spurling, the Ridgeons League secretary and treasurer, said the FA regulations were in place to stop spectators throwing objects at anyone or anything - not specifically officials.
He said: “This is not a major issue. The rules state that there should be no loose material around the outside of the pitch because there’s a danger that it could be picked up and thrown.
“At this level it’s very unlikely that you’re going to get any issues but unfortunately there are still occasions when people’s passions get the better of them.
“I have a great deal of sympathy for Wisbech. It’s a great shame because quite frankly, their ground looks tremendous.”
Creasey added: “You just never know in today’s society. It’s all about health and safety. It’s a disappointment but at the same time it’s no good crying about it and we have to get on and get it done. We have to go along with what the authorities say.”
The club have until the end of March to remove the stones, which Mr Creasey says will be replaced by grass.
“It will all be done and there is nothing to worry about,” he said. “But it is money wasted and an added expense that the club didn’t need.
“It’s not good for a club of our level - we haven’t got that sort of money spare. We have got to get on with it. There’s no way that we can be demoted - we are working hard to go the other way!”
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