Improvement work set to take place on The Shay pitch early next month, say Calderdale Council

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Calderdale Council say they hope that work to improve the Shay pitch will start early next month.

The poor condition of the surface meant FC Halifax Town suffered several postponements last season and were forced to play their final three home matches away from their home ground.

Halifax Panthers are at home to Toulouse on Saturday, June 1 but then don’t play at The Shay again until Sunday, June 30 against Whitehaven, giving a month’s window for work to take place.

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Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Services, Ian Day, said: “It was disappointing for all involved that the final games of the season couldn’t take place at the Shay and we continue to explore options to improve the quality of the playing surface, including short and long-term ambitions for the pitch.

The Shay Stadium, HalifaxThe Shay Stadium, Halifax
The Shay Stadium, Halifax

“The ideal approach would be to introduce a hybrid pitch – a long term solution likely to give assurance that fixtures for both professional clubs could be played without disruption. We have been in discussions about possible grant funding to support this ambition.

“Unfortunately, the introduction of a hybrid pitch is not something that can be delivered over the summer, even if grant applications were successful. Nevertheless, this remains as an ambition for the Shay, and we continue to discuss the longer-term management arrangements for the pitch and the stadium with both professional clubs.

“To improve the quality of the playing surface ahead of the new season, we are currently finalising a plan that will seek to improve the pitch drainage by alleviating the surface compaction and reseeding the playing surface. This work will hopefully start in early June, which provides the best opportunity of establishment before the pitch needs to be used again.

“We understand the importance of improving the quality of the playing surface and we continue to engage both clubs in decisions about the pitch and any impact on their fixtures and operations.”

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