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Change Must Come From The Top, Says Sutton Coldfield Boss Neil Tooth

THE Football League must lead the way if 3G pitches are to be allowed in Non-Leagues top two tiers according to Sutton Coldfield Town manager Neil Tooth.

The Evo-Stik NPL Division One South club have had an artificial pitch for two-and-a-half seasons and experienced just one home postponement in that time – due to snow making roads near the ground unsafe.

With the rain continuing to cause havoc across the country, Non-League has seen hundreds of postponements every Saturday.

Despite the obvious positives of 3G, Conference clubs voted against allowing them in the Skrill Premier, North and South, with Ryman Premier leaders Maidstone willing to go to court to challenge the decision.

But Tooth says unless the Football League shows willing, it’ll be difficult for Non-League to accept 3G.

He said: “I’m all for playing football on grass pitches but to be honest, some of the grounds we play on at our level, and especially at this time of year, can’t be considered grass.

“A lot of people are still anti-3G but once you’ve got it, you see first hand the massive positives it brings.

“I think the reason the Conference vote went against is because they don’t want a club getting a 3G pitch and being denied promotion.

“Until the Football League give it the go ahead, I really can’t see the Conference allowing it either. It’s two promotions away for us but when you see the Maidstone situation, it does feel like a kick in the teeth.”

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