Maidstone United co-owner Oliver Ash writes open letter to Football Association chairman Greg Dyke regarding 3G pitches
An open letter from Oliver Ash to new FA chairman Greg Dyke promoting 3G pitches has generated huge interest.
It attracted 8,500 hits within six hours of appearing on Maidstone United’s website on Wednesday afternoon.
And by Thursday morning, it had been seen by 12,500 people.
Stones co-owner Mr Ash was invited to speak on national radio station talkSPORT, while Daily Telegraph journalist Henry Winter was among numerous Twitter users to retweet a link encouraging people to read the letter.
Mr Ash wrote the 2,500-word letter to Mr Dyke after the new FA chairman mentioned Maidstone in his first speech last week.
The United co-owner highlighted the advantages of 3G pitches and called on the FA to show more support for the surface.
He pointed to community benefits and the money they generate for clubs and even said 3G would help develop future England players as Mr Dyke searches for ways to turn the national team into World Cup winners in 2022.
Mr Ash wants the FA to address the issues which currently mean Maidstone can play no higher than the Ryman League, Premier Division on 3G.
He wrote: “Although we took the risk of putting in 3G, other clubs don’t.
“One major reason is that leagues from the Conference upwards do not currently allow 3G pitches in their league competitions.
“We understand that the FA is unable and/or unwilling to push the cause of 3G to them because of the Premier League’s influence in your committees.
“Faced with this strange barrier to what could be a hugely positive business option for many football clubs, we decided to set up 3G4US, a group of 50 football clubs from Football League, Scottish League and non-league who are all in favour of 3G pitches.
“Many of these clubs would like to put down facilities similar to ours, which could potentially enable them to develop a sustainable business model as it did for us, significantly increase their in-house coaching set-ups and add to the probability of unearthing top quality young players.
“However, I repeat, from Football Conference upwards, 3G is not currently an allowed surface.
“The Football League don’t want to take any action because they might upset the Premier League, who are against 3G and the Football Conference don’t want to take action because they don’t want to upset the Football League.
“And the FA can’t show an example by giving the green light to clubs to play on 3G in the FA Cup because the PREMIER LEAGUE WON’T ALLOW IT!
“It’s madness and a metaphor for how football is being run in this country.”
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