Liverpool will improve their heavily criticised Anfield pitch over the summer, despite the added complication of redevelopment work taking place on the new Main Stand.
EXCLUSIVE BY ALEX MILLER
- Pitch will be removed and reseeded over the summer
- Club to review drainage and lighting of pitch
- LFC say opening of new Main Stand remains the same as planned
Sources close to the club have confirmed to This Is Anfield that the pitch will be reseeded over the summer, despite some reports suggesting otherwise.
It had been suggested that the ongoing building work at the stadium would require cranes to be put up on the pitch over the summer, however sources close to the club suggest that won’t be the case.
It is understood the grass will be completely removed and reseeded over the summer – in line with work carried out in previous years. The end of season pitch work includes stripping the existing surface, cultivating the sub strata top dressing and then 100% re-seeding.
Well-placed sources believe the condition of the pitch this season has been adversely affected by a number of factors, including weather patterns over the winter months and overall usage of the pitch at key times.
This Is Anfield understands that club officials will also be planning to review drainage and lighting matters over the summer to ensure the best possible conditions for a top-class pitch next season.
Critics of the playing surface this season have included manager Brendan Rodgers and defender Glen Johnson, both stating that the playing style of the side has been hindered by its poor quality.
Meanwhile, it is understood that officials are finishing minor details to the final designs of the Main Stand, with the feeling from within the club that great progress is being made on the construction.
The new steel frame is rapidly rising and sources have reassured fans that the opening time of the expanded stand hasn’t changed, despite the club changing their wording from ‘in time for the 2016-17 season’, to ‘some stage during’ the 2016-17 season.
One of the major details yet to be confirmed centres on the players’ tunnel. The current design has the tunnel located in more or less the same position it is located in today, and This Is Anfield understands that it is unlikely to be moved to the halfway line.
* The Anfield pitch is a ‘Desso Grassmaster’ pitch made up of 97% Rye grass and 3% artificial fibres. Similar pitches are found at most established Premier League grounds including Arsenal and Manchester City.
An estimated 20 million artificial grass fibres are injected 20cm deep into the ground. The natural grass roots then intertwine with the artificial turf fibres and the result is a pitch that is should be able to take three times as much football as a normal, natural grass pitch.