Pitching In Northern Premier League Marine have announced that the planned installation of the new 3G pitch due to start next week will be postponed until next summer following delays, changes to the build method and significant and unaffordable cost increases advised by the installer. Club officials have agreed a work schedule with contractors to repair and prepare the existing pitch for the new season whilst arrangements have been made to install new pitch barriers behind both goals replacing the old barriers demolished a few weeks ago.
Marine Chairman Paul Leary said: “We are shocked and disappointed at the late notice received on Friday night by email from the pitch installer of a change to the build method of the new pitch resulting in an increase of 30% to the project cost. Construction was to start next week with a completion date of October 1, but this date we believe could also be in jeopardy. Our many community and football partners engaged in the 3G project will be as equally disappointed at this very late notice that has affected their exciting plans to move to the Marine Travel Arena for the new season.”
Paul Leary added: “Although we had a ground share agreed with Bootle FC until October whilst the 3G pitch was being installed the process of finding an alternative installer, agreeing a specification and build plan and completing the construction could take us well beyond October and possibly towards the end of November which would have such a massive and detrimental impact on our own business as well as Bootle FC. That option we have decided is not feasible, practicable or financially viable for all concerned.”
Vice Chairman Dave McMillan said: “We look forward therefore to the return of games to the Marine Travel Arena having not played since the Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup tie in January. The club refurbishments will be completed in the next couple of weeks and will provide fantastic new bars, beers, Sky Sports and a fabulous menu from our 1894 Bar & Bistro. I am sure that the fans visiting the stadium will be suitably impressed with the new facilities.”