It is always a hot topic, but even more so in non league, where plastic pitches are allowed.

However, when teams get to the EFL, they are forced to tear them up for a grass pitch. A plastic pitch means clubs don’t need to pay for a training ground, can rent it out readily in the local area and reduces the risk of games getting postponed. However, they reduce the spectacle and should these pitches be allowed in non league? 

The Semi-Pro boys discuss in the latest edition of No Splinters

Nathan Barcio: “Plastic pitches should be allowed. You need to remember the budgets of these clubs at the non league level and the strain that having a grass pitch can put on these clubs can be large, I understand that players probably aren’t massive fans of them.

“They aren’t the greatest when it comes to burns etc, but you just have to get on with it as it comes with so many benefits financially.” 

Harpenden Colts FC are an example of 3G pitches relieving financial pressure.

Dan Platts: “I am not a massive fan of getting used to the idea that clubs should have a plastic pitch.”

“However, it does help a lot in terms of it is one less payment that clubs need to worry about.

“You don’t need to pay a groundsman and the pitch isn’t getting torn up for most of the year. It is way more practical in non league football but I don’t like the idea in all of football.

“It does make players slightly more susceptible to injury as well because your studs can’t sink into the ground.”

Owen Barnard: “As a supporter of a club that is currently laying down a 3g pitch, I am going to say that they should be allowed. It is difficult for clubs to actually compete with a grass pitch because so many clubs are now on a plastic pitch and they help in so many different ways.

“They are a huge revenue source, there are literally thousands of people that play on these things each week. When you consider that some clubs in the division don’t have anyone playing on their pitches, it creates so much difference in revenue.

“All in all, they have so many benefits. I think most fans and players will say they prefer grass pitches and it is what makes non league special but it is the direction we are moving in.” 

Zak Wright: “4G pitches are a bit of a disgrace aren’t they, they look tinpot and you can’t be happy to have one can you and there is no point to them apart from players getting more ACL injuries maybe.

“The surface is just not good enough, it hurts player welfare and you need to protect the players. Get rid.” 

Charlie Howell: 100% plastic pitches should be allowed, they’re great for the club, the community and keep games on in the winter stopping crappy backlogs.

“They should also be allowed at the lower end of the EFL too, who in their right mind think’s Bradford’s pitch is better than Bromley’s which they are currently having to rip up. They will lose so much more than they will gain by being in League 2.” 

James Hamilton: “I think that plastic pitches should be allowed. I think it creates variation within all of the non league.”

“I think they are probably more enjoyable to play on as well.

“Obviously, the traditional game is played on a natural up and down pitch. I think a little bit of balance playing on a high quality 4G pitch will be good and the players will be thankful for that.

“Performances might get better and you never know the quality could improve as a result. You can also give access to the pitch to youth teams which widens accessibility as well.” 

Alex Keir: “Personally I am against plastic pitches in non league but I can understand why they do it so I think I am going to go on the side that plastic pitches should be allowed.”

“You have to think about how hard it is to maintain grass pitches. Last season so many games were called off because the pitch was waterlogged so I think a plastic pitch can allow for games to be played more often and there is less maintenance. It is better economically for the club because they can hire it out for other activities and be used seven days a week.” 

Oliver Haley: “They should be allowed and it isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s beneficial because you don’t need to have groundsman and stuff and you don’t need to look after it constantly. It’s better for the club once it gets going and you can do many things with it.” 

Josh Brewer: “It is such a difficult one because I genuinely hate watching games on plastic pitches. They are an awful spectacle and a really awful spectacle to watch a game of football on.”

“Having said that, it is hard to deny the economic benefits that it brings to a football club in non league. Therefore, I am going to begrudgingly say that they should be allowed in non league football. Awful to watch, but great for sustainability.” 

Another day, another wide range of opinions from the Semi Professional team. Having said that, I think there is a clear winner. Even if some people don’t like plastic pitches, they don’t believe that they should be banned.