Dale lodge complaint about Don Valley pitch

Last updated : 24 August 2009 By Deano
The Millers won the game 2-1 just three days after the U2 concert ruined half of the playing surface.

Officials at Dale were left angry that the match weas given the nod to take place, boss Keith Hill told BBC Radio Manchester:"We should have had preference with respect of playing our game.

"We should have had the fixture reversed because that's a sub-standard pitch. There's no sour grapes. We put our complaints in before the game.

"We're going to take the club route to dealing with that. The pitch was difficult but it was difficult for both sides. We have a certain style that we want to play and it is difficult to play on that type of pitch, especially one half of the pitch.

"That's why it was unsafe for me because it was so inconsistent compared to the other half."

Hill's assistant David Flitcroft added: "We had a report done before the game at about 1320. We found shards of glass and we found two nails as we came off the pitch.

"Just doing a warm-down session with the players, I found five pieces of glass. I don't know where the blame lies for the state of the pitch but I do know the referee took responsibility for that game and, if one of our players had torn a big gash out of his leg due to glass or something, well.

"You can accept it with a tackle but when it's something that could be on the pitch, the groundsmen haven't had time to scan this thing.

"It's been an absolute shambles from an organisation point of view from this stadium. Before the game, we questioned whether the game should have been played.

"If I'd have brought my team down to a non-league venue and that was the state of the pitch, I would've just walked off. If it was a friendly, I would've just walked off.

"Obviously, there are a lot of obligations and I think referees and clubs are scared of getting called off now because of the money implications and the revenue.

"Players' safety becomes an issue. So why this game got arranged to play on a Sunday straight after a concert is beyond me."

Rotherham will await a response from League officials in the coming days.

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