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Stamford Bridge - Best Pitch In The Premier League


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Chelsea's pitch has received a near perfect score in this season's Barclays Premier League ratings, despite having one of our busiest Christmas periods in relation to home games.

The Premier League grades every pitch in the league from one to five every season and this year Chelsea secured a four point eight in the mid-season rating, which, considering the league's average is just over four point six, is a fantastic achievement, especially considering Stamford Bridge's pitch has, in seasons past, received damning reviews for its quality and grass cover.

Some of the worst reviews, as fans may remember, came after the 2003 Premier League clash with Charlton Athletic, when the pitch was dubbed a sandpit. That was five years ago this month but there have been some dramatic changes to pitch quality since then and, according to deputy head groundsman Kevin Fowler, the improved state of the pitch can be put down to three things, training, lights and good old hard graft.

'This season we have reduced the amount of training. We had around 15 training sessions on this pitch last season and it really contributed to why we had to relay it such a lot.

'Especially when they train during winter, you've got no chance of keeping the grass cover that we have got now, and it shows, there's a lot of grass out there still and it hasn't been relayed once, it is the grass that was there from seed in June.

'Then there's the lights. They keep artificial sunlight on it all year round,' explained Fowler.

Chelsea purchased the lights, which spread UV rays over the grass, at the beginning of the season and have already reaped the rewards with a pitch that shows hardly any signs of wear, despite the depleted amounts of natural sunshine during the winter months.

'I can't believe it, I have been here ten years and I have never seen this amount of grass in January,' added Fowler.

'But to be fair it's also thanks all the grounds team here, and from Cobham, because they do a lot.

'We are here for long hours after games, obviously it is not just a case of taking the goalposts down after the game and going home, we get the pitch cleaned up and ready for the lights to be out here.

'There are a lot of part time staff and the staff at Cobham come down when they are needed and that's helped us out a lot.'

chelseafc.com

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Strange, haven't noticed it really. We usually have to dig the fucker up twice a season because its so bad. Must be using some magical thing that Roman bought for about a million quid or something, maybe its artificial but looks and feels exactly the same as the real thing. Go Ground staff (for once)!

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Its been an embarrassment over the years really so its all good now. Don't make much sense letting rugby players plough it up though, the groundsmen will have their work cut out again in the summer after that.

And they have three months in which to do it. The rugby match really isn't a problem! I don't get why everyone thinks it will be a huge problem.

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And they have three months in which to do it. The rugby match really isn't a problem! I don't get why everyone thinks it will be a huge problem.

Well didnt they say part of the problem before had been extra use with training and that? can't see how having a load of heavyweights digging their boots in will help.

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Its imperative that it's kept in tip top to ensure our Home Record continues.

The artificial lights that create 'sunlight' were an inspired buy. Used in the Summer to grow da 'erbs.

Quite agree, Roman has excelled himself once again.

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