Taylor slams Wembley pitch

PLAYERS’ chief Gordon Taylor has added to the wave of discontent surrounding the state of the Wembley pitch, branding it an “embarrassment”.

The surface was slammed by both Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp and Portsmouth boss Avram Grant after Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final where players complained that excessive watering had made it too skiddy.

The national stadium is bracing itself for its busiest period of the year with Saturday’s Premiership rugby union match between Saracens and Harlequins beginning a sequence of seven major events in the next six weeks. In amongst the schedule is England’s penultimate World Cup warm-up match against Mexico on 24 May and Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, insists urgent action is required.

“The pitch is a big concern,” Taylor said. “It is becoming an embarrassment for the FA and it needs to be addressed and addressed properly.

“There is no point worrying about the finances of Wembley if people are going to be wary of playing there because the pitch is not up to it and you don’t get a fair contest.”

The pitch, which has been re-laid ten times since the stadium reopened in 2007, was branded a “disgrace” by Redknapp after Michael Dawson’s crucial slip allowed Portsmouth to score their first goal in Sunday’s 2-0 win.


Saracens v Harlequins Saturday
FA Cup final May 15
Conference Play-Off final May 16
Championship Play-Off final May 22
England v Mexico May 24
League One Play-Off final May 29
League Two Play-Off final May 30