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Club News

2015 - Pitch Renovation

4 June 2015

Now that the curtain has come down on a busy season for Selhurst Park, pitch work has already started on a new state of the art surface ready for the 2015/16 campaign in August.  
The Desso GrassMaster is a hybrid fibre system, which means natural grass is supplemented by 20 million artificial turf fibres, intertwined with the grass roots.  Its proving increasingly popular with leading Premier League Clubs, such as Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool already installing the pitch, as well as Wembley Stadium.

Chairman Steve Parish explained the reasoning behind the club's decision to install a Desso GrassMaster pitch for the 15/16 campaign, saying: "In the end you're growing something, so it's not a perfect science, but we're working on it. 

"We spent the most money we've ever spent on a pitch last year, we spent £1 million on new drainage. 

"Last year we went down half a metre and completely relaid the pitch, new drainage, under soil heating, but unfortunately the grass didn't take, it didn't grow down deep enough and the pitch we finished the season with was laid during a two-week gap, so it's just like a carpet. You buy a pitch, you roll it up and lay it down, but it never really sits in. 

"It was much better than what we had before, because that was borderline dangerous. People who would have gone to every game would have seen some huge divots, because it never really grew in, the top of the grass just wasn't bound to the under soil, so I think we're going to go with Desso, because it's easier. You've got the plastic pegs that go down and it binds it all together."
Stitching the artificial fibre into the grass roots prevents divots and gives players’ studs a better grip. The surface has been in use for more than 20 years and its popularity has increased rapidly in the last five years.
Installing the new surface takes around two weeks. First, the existing surface is stripped off - removing more than 800 tonnes of turf, with the root zone also being removed to a depth of 160mm, to be re-used at the training ground. It then takes around 10 days to stitch in the artificial fibres.
The Desso GrassMaster has a lifespan of more than 10 years and is harder-wearing than traditional pitches, which means clubs can play more games on the surface without it cutting up. The natural grass is then replaced each Summer, but the artificial fibres remain in place.  
During the summer we will be keeping you updated on the progress of the works as SE25 becomes home to this brand new surface.

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