Millers hit back at Dale pitch claims

Last updated : 25 August 2009 By Deano
U2's concert last Thursday left the surface discoloured for Sundays game which the Millers won 2-1.

Dale officials claimed they had found glass and nails before and after the match had taken place, but Millers Chief Operating Officer Paul Douglas and DV general stadium manager Pat Smith hit back at the criticism.

The statemernt on the clubs official website, firstly from Douglas, reads:

"The pitch was deemed playable by the referee and he was happy for the game to go-ahead.

"Following the U2 concert our Ground staff in conjunction with Don Valley Stadium worked around the clock to ensure that the playing surface was in an acceptable condition to play on. After the referee looked at the surface he was happy for the game to take place."

Smith then added: "In conjunction with Rotherham United, a comprehensive plan was developed ahead of the fixture to anticipate any risks and put in place the appropriate measures to protect and prepare the pitch so that the match could go ahead. As part of the plan, it was communicated to the club that the concert may lead to some discolouration of the grass.

"Specialist teams from Rotherham United and Don Valley started work on the pitch as soon as the concert had finished. Rotherham had a team of five ground staff working on the pitch, supported by our operations manager and two other members of ground staff, assisted by external contractors.

"The pitch was fully swept and raked twice over prior to the official inspection. Metal detection, leveling equipment and sand was also used to prepare the pitch for the fixture.

"As General Manager of the stadium, I attended the pre match inspection at around 11.30am on the day of the fixture when it was passed fit by the match officials for play.The safety of those inside the stadium is of the utmost importance. No further complaints were made to Rotherham United or the stadium ground staff on the day of the match.

"Had we received any complaints, we would have carried out further safety inspections.

"No glass was allowed in the stadium for the concert and security searches were carried out at the gates.

"A great deal of time, effort and care was taken by both Don Valley staff and Rotherham United to get the pitch fit from a playing point of view. We anticipated the risks and dealt with them successfully and according to plan."

Dale are understood to be still persuing the matter with the Football League, leaving a sour taste in the mouth between both clubs and its sets of supporters.

Welcome to MillersMad
Here's our LATEST Messageboard topics
The Soccerlinks Hit List