Calderdale Council will not spend money on pitch at The Shay

Picture taken last Tuesday ahead of the postponed game between FC Halifax Town and Dartford.
Picture taken last Tuesday ahead of the postponed game between FC Halifax Town and Dartford.

The leader of Calderdale Council has said he will not be pumping any money into the Shay Stadium following complaints about the state of the pitch.

Last Saturday FC Halifax Town was forced to move the FA Trophy game against Dartford to Droylsden, Greater Manchester, after the stadium’s owners, Calderdale Council, said they could not guarantee that the surface was in a suitable condition.

Coun Stephen Baines.

Coun Stephen Baines.

Council leader Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) said: “If the referee declares the pitch unusable, we’ve got to find an alternative - the game has to be played if at all possible, and that’s why they had to move the game elsewhere. I think they did a tremendous job winning on neutral ground.”

But Coun Baines ruled-out investing money to improve the state of the pitch which has a history of poor drainage.

He said: “There’s a lot more that we could do - we could put underground heating beneath the pitch, but do you want the council to spend six or seven hundred thousand pounds on underground heating when we’ve got buildings and other things that need plenty of money throwing at them?

“At the moment, the Shay is still heavily subsidised by the taxpayer and we’re taking steps to reduce that subsidy.”

Councillor Marcus Thompson (Con, Skircoat), Cabinet member for communities, said: “It comes down to a simple question of are we going to close down all the libraries to pay for this? We’ve only got so much money to spend and they’re incredibly hard decisions.”

David Bosomworth, chairman of FC Halifax Town, was unavailable for comment.