Doswell: Change the rules over 3G pitches

Surrey Comet: Calling for a change to the rules: Sutton United boss Paul Doswell Calling for a change to the rules: Sutton United boss Paul Doswell

Sutton United boss Paul Doswell says it is ridiculous that the club cannot install a 3G pitch at Gander Green Lane.

United have submitted a proposed rule change to the Skrill Football Conference that would allow clubs in the competition to play games on approved 3G surfaces.

The call for action follows a spate of bad weather that has seen matches across the leagues postponed due to unplayable pitches.

United’s 2-0 win at Chelmsford on Saturday was their first taste of action since December 28.

Doswell said: “Not permitting 3G surfaces is a ridiculous notion, and is just a case of self-serving by the Skrill Football Conference.

“They battled for years to get two teams promoted to the Football League, and they don’t want egg on their face if one of those teams happened to have a 3G pitch and cannot be promoted.”

The issue could come to a head at the end of this season if Maidstone United, who have a 3G pitch, maintain their current form and win the Ryman Premier League, where artificial surfaces are permitted, only to be denied access to the Skrill South.

Doswell said: “I have it on good authority that Maidstone will take it to the courts if they are not allowed to be promoted.

“It’s a crazy situation, and clubs can go out of business on the back of it.”

He added: “We at Sutton have a business that is open for just one day a fortnight.”

“If we had a 3G pitch, it would be open for the whole community, seven days a week.

“We have teams from U8s upwards and they have to train elsewhere, they should be able to train at Gander Green Lane.”

United are fourth in the Skrill South table thanks to the win at Chelmsford, where Jamie Slabber bagged his 10th goal of the season, and Dale Binns hit his first.

The pair have signed extensions to their contracts until the end of next season, joining Craig Dundas, Jamie Taylor, Mitchell Nelson, Charlie Clough, Lee Sawyer and Damian Scannell.

Leaving the Lane were winger James Folkes, who became the fifth player in the last month to join Margate, and midfielder Ali Fuseini, who returned to league leaders Bromley.

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