- Head of Sports Turf and Grounds John Ledwidge explains the method behind relaying the King Power Stadium pitch
- The Club’s Grounds Team are carrying out renovation works while no Premier League football is being played
- Premier League fixtures are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
The Premier League confirmed on Friday that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
Since league action was suspended, the Club’s award-winning Grounds Team have opted to re-lay the King Power Stadium pitch while no football is being played.
“Typically, we’d do this in the summer,” Head of Sports Turf and Grounds John Ledwidge said. “We’d have a window of opportunity from the end of our corporate season through to the first games of the Premier League season.
“We’ve been putting options together given the current climate, so we engaged our contractors, mobilised them really quickly and they’ve been really helpful and as you can see behind me, the pitch is already almost gone.
Pitch Renovation Works On Filbert Way
The King Power Stadium pitch has received a renovation during the current break in the Premier League schedule.
“Originally, we removed the grass that’s on the surface and basically went back to our Desso fibres, which is the stitch system which stabilises the pitch.
“We’ll then import 90 tonnes of sand and we’ll incorporate that into the profile.
“Obviously, the only difference really at this time of year, it’s a little bit colder in comparison to summer so we’ll be giving it a helping hand.
“The under-soil heating will be going on, we’ve got some sheets that we’ll put on, maybe bring our grow lights back in just to encourage that seed to pop a little bit quicker.”
While there is no confirmed date for Premier League football to make a return, Ledwidge says work will be completed on the Filbert Way turf within six weeks.
We’re actually starting that process now; warming the soil up ready for six weeks’ time. If we get the green light, then we’ll be ready to go.John Ledwidge
He said: “Realistically six weeks is what we typically work to. We’re comfortable with that. We’re very resourceful as an industry, we’re quite resourceful as a club and we had lots of options on the table and we’ve decided to hit the button on this one.
“It’s absolutely the right decision for us because if the fixtures are backlogged at the back-end of the season, we could be faced with a two-week turnaround or three-week or four weeks which just isn’t enough time to produce the results we expect in here.
“It’s a challenge for groundsmen up and down the country because the weather’s been unprecedented this year. People are pulling out all the stops to get games on, it’s no different for us.
“We’re very fortunate to have a resource at our fingertips with under-soil heating, lights and sheets. That is the biggest difference, but we’ve got resource, like I’ve said, to help it along and we’ll do that as soon as the seed’s in the ground.
“We’re actually starting that process now; warming the soil up ready for six weeks’ time. If we get the green light, then we’ll be ready to go.
“Throughout this particular process and in our day to day activities we are adhering strictly to Government guidelines around safe working practices and we prioritise our staff’s health and safety at all times. The Club have been very supportive ensuring we have all the relevant resource to help us achieve this and continue to do so.”
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