Neil Doncaster can redeem himself by banning plastic pitches in the Premiership

Watching games on artificial surfaces has become a miserable experience for Scottish football supporters

Sunday, 30th August 2020, 7:20 am
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster hasn't made many friends in Scottish football over the past few months. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster hasn't made many friends in Scottish football over the past few months. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

Neil Doncaster, the chief executive of the SPFL, does not have many friends in Scottish football.

When I retired from being a manager and hung up the duffle coat I was for eight years a match delegate checking that Premiership games were run properly.

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At meetings I was able to observe Neil at close quarters. It was obvious to me that his charisma bypass operation had been a huge success and that getting along with folk was not his forte.

Simpatico he is not.

But I do have a way to change everything and for all us fans to be singing the praises of Mr Doncaster.

And he can do all this by one single action – namely banning plastic pitches in the Premiership.

All of us hate plastic pitches.

Top-level football needs to be a spectacle and on a plastic pitch this is impossible.

“Why are you looking so fed up dearest?”, said my wife the other week.

It was because the only football on the big telly on Sunday afternoon was Livingston v Rangers on the cursed West Lothian plastic surface.

This season I have already endured Kilmarnock v Celtic and I have made a resolution that enough is enough and that for me there will be no more plastic football even if it means getting dizzy spending Sunday afternoons watching Formula 1.

Artificial pitches make sense for lower league clubs in that they need virtually no maintenance and that they can be hired out to community groups and bring in much needed cash. But in our top league they should be banned.

Doing so will cost money and perhaps a phone call to James Anderson (the fund manager, not the fast bowler) would be worthwhile.

So Neil, here is your chance to get in our good books.

Ban the horrible plastic pitches and even the Hearts fans may start to like you.

I know I will.

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