FC Halifax Town: Shay pitch to be renovated this summer, says council chief

Muddy, waterlogged pitch at The MBI Shay Stadium, Halifax.
Muddy, waterlogged pitch at The MBI Shay Stadium, Halifax.

The beleagured pitch at Halifax’s Shay stadium will be renovated after the end of the football season, say Calderdale Council.

FC Halifax Town’s home game with Ebbsfleet last Saturday had to be postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, before a combination of recent heavy rain and Halifax’s RLFC’s clash with Dewsbury the following day left the surface like a mud bath.

Muddy, waterlogged pitch at The MBI Shay Stadium, Halifax.

Muddy, waterlogged pitch at The MBI Shay Stadium, Halifax.

The pitch does at least have a chance to recuperate due to both the football and rugby clubs not being scheduled to play on it until next weekend.

Calderdale Council’s Sports Services Manager, Gary Byrnes, said: “The decision to postpone the Halifax Town fixture on Saturday 9 March was made by the match official at around 2pm.

“The pitch at the Shay had been heavy with water all week, and staff at the ground spent hours carrying out maintenance to allow the fixture on Tuesday 5 March to go ahead as planned. This hard work continued throughout the week, despite heavy rain making conditions more difficult.

“Unfortunately, further bad weather overnight on Friday left the pitch waterlogged. Staff contacted Halifax Town Football Club on Saturday morning and continued to do all they could to try and make the pitch playable. The match official carried out pitch inspections throughout the morning, but due to the ongoing poor conditions, the decision was made to postpone the fixture.

“Extensive drainage works were completed at the Shay in 2015 and as such the number of postponed fixtures has reduced significantly over the recent years. Further work is planned at the end of this season, and ground staff work incredibly hard to prepare the pitch for each fixture.

“Renovations of the pitch at the Shay will take place from Monday 20 May.

“The top layer of the pitch will be removed, and treatments will be applied to the soil underneath.

“Reseeding and fertilising will then take place to ensure the grass is in the best possible condition. These works should take around a week and will be complete well in time for the scheduled Halifax RLFC home game on Sunday 30 June.”