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Home   Maidstone   Sport   Article

Maidstone United co-owner Oliver Ash encourages Conference clubs to accept 3G pitches ahead of big vote

27 January 2014
by Craig Tucker

Maidstone are hoping their Gallagher Stadium 3G will be accepted in the Conference. Picture Martin Apps

Maidstone are hoping their Gallagher Stadium 3G will be accepted in the Conference. Picture: Martin Apps

Maidstone United will learn on Wednesday whether 3G pitches will be accepted in the Conference.

Co-owner Oliver Ash is hopeful United will win their fight even though the voting system at Wednesday’s meeting in Telford will hamper their chances.

They need help from Skrill Premier clubs to get proposals through as they get a vote each, while the North and South divisions have only eight votes between them.

Ambitious Premier clubs may say ‘no’ given 3G pitches are not permitted in the Football League.

Oliver Ash

Oliver Ash

But Mr Ash understands the proposal, which has been tabled by Sutton and seconded by Dorchester, could then be amended to allow a vote on 3G in North and South.

Maidstone’s request to speak at the meeting has been rejected but instead Mr Ash and manager Jay Saunders will put their case to the Conference board on Tuesday.

Mr Ash said: “It’s an exciting time for football in general to be taking seriously one of the most important issues in the non-league game.

“The voting system is disadvantageous but there are means for compromise in that it’s possible to amend a proposal.

“If it looks like voting 3G into the Conference Premier won’t go through, maybe there could be a solution that would satisfy the 3G lobby.

“It might be they allow 3G in Conference North and South for a trial period.

Should 3G pitches be allowed in the Conference?

“I wouldn’t say we can’t win the vote. Sutton have reservations but I believe we have a strong case.

“A lot of it depends on the board’s message having heard our presentation and impassioned plea for common sense.

“We hope they show leadership and strength and recommend the proposal for all the good reasons and not the negative reasons in that we believe it may be illegal not to allow 3G.

“We hope our reasons prevail and Conference clubs, particularly Premier clubs, realise that if they vote for it, it doesn’t mean there is going to be a sudden invasion of 3G pitches.

"I can’t get out of my mind that the Conference as a whole will see 3G as the solution.

“I can’t bring myself to imagine that will not happen.”

Read the second part of Mr Ash's interview on Kent Online on Tuesday

Big crowds at the Gallagher Stadium enjoy the 3G experience. Picture Martin Apps

Big crowds at the Gallagher Stadium enjoy the 3G experience. Picture: Martin Apps

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