Bath City Supporters’ Society, the majority shareholder of Bath City FC, is about to launch a discussion with its members over adopting a 3G pitch, with a view to a vote being taken at an Extraordinary General Meeting. The move comes ahead of Bath City FC’s planned partial redevelopment of Twerton Park.
At its last Interim General Meeting in January, the Society passed motions to ensure that any move to an artificial surface must be approved by the membership in a standalone vote, and that pro-grass members must have the opportunity to review the same information as the club board and present an evidence-based case for keeping grass.
The Society is now honouring these motions, and indeed going beyond them, by holding an open discussion event and then calling an EGM in which members will make a decision. The Society has sent members a feasibility study and FAQ prepared by the club board, which has formally recommended that the club adopt a 3G pitch, alongside a separate report prepared by pro-grass advocates outlining concerns regarding 3G.
There are sound reasons why a decision should be made regarding the playing surface before pushing ahead with the redevelopment, as it may affect the layout and facilities of the new stand.
Michael Clayton, chair of the Bath City Supporters’ Society, said:
“This is clearly a sensitive issue with wide-ranging implications for the club’s future. The members felt it was important to have a thorough debate, with all members afforded the opportunity to present an evidence-based argument. Our "Open Discussion" event on 22 March will allow members to have their say and ask questions of the club board, before we make a final decision.”
The 3G v Grass debate is one filled with passion and strong opinions and with the current EFL rules stating that 3G playing surfaces are not allowed, clubs considering artificial surfaces while working their way up towards that coveted promotion to the Football League have a lot of elements to consider.
Bromley, Maidstone United and Sutton United all face the potential of winning promotion at the end of this season to then face automatic relegation due to their 3G playing surfaces.
National League regulations state that any club which wins promotion but does not then install a grass surface to comply with the current EFL rules would subsequently be demoted to either National League North or National League South and could also face a fine.
It is reported that EFL Clubs will once again debate the issue of artificial surfaces and vote on the issue at this years Annual General Meeting in June.