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30 May 2017 8:55
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Soccer

    Pitch not perfect but Trust to keep trying

    The SCG Trust has assured thorough consultation will continue with Sydney FC on the particulars of heavy cross-code traffic during the A-League season.


    SCG Trust chairman Tony Shepherd has flagged a potential Allianz Stadium pitch refurbishment as a key benefit for long-term tenants Sydney FC.

    As expected, the Sky Blues have renewed their lease and will call the venue home for a further 10 years.

    While being major tenants, Graham Arnold's A-League champions may again face a problematic playing surface once the Super Rugby and NRL seasons start back up in early 2018.

    Neither Shepherd nor Sydney chairman Scott Barlow were willing to divulge any specifics of the lease regarding surface standards.

    But Shepherd was still hopeful of a state government windfall as part of a $1 billion-plus investment in stadiums across Sydney.

    "As you are aware we have sought funding from the state government to upgrade the stadium, which includes a complete pitch refurbishment," Shepherd said.

    "We're waiting on a response on that and hopefully we'll get a positive answer.

    "But it's important to us to have retained Sydney FC and have them satisfied with the quality of facilities, including the pitch.

    "They are great partners and we will do everything in our power to look after them."

    Shepherd stressed there was thorough and ongoing consultation with Sydney on the timing and particulars of heavy cross-code traffic.

    He also suggested Football Federation Australia get in early to ensure that, should the Sky Blues host the grand final again, there'll be no repeat of a Waratahs home game less than 24 hours prior.

    That was despite ground staff's excellent work in pulling off such a short turnaround for this month's season-decider.

    "It would be good if - and this is easier said than done - we could get a lot more notice," Shepherd said.

    "The other sports are scheduled a year out so you can't just go to them and say `sorry you're dispossessed', because that's not fair.

    "But if we could get a bit more notice on grand finals that would help.

    "In our arrangements with Sydney FC we have consultation a year out for every season and we use our best endeavours to achieve certain outcomes for them.

    "We don't control scheduling but we try to influence in terms of avoiding double-headers, back-ups and 24-hour turnarounds if we can.

    "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't ... but I think, generally speaking, we've been remarkably successful."


    NZN




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