Falkirk pitch not ready for opening day

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Falkirk have asked for their opening league game of next season to be played away from home after admitting their new artificial surface will not be ready in time for the new campaign.

The Bairns are also in talks with nearby Alloa Athletic to put in place a back-up plan should they be drawn at home in the first round of either the Ramsdens Cup on 27 July or the League Cup on 3 August.

The First Division club will not begin work on the pitch until 25 June, two days after they host a Status Quo gig – the last of three money-spinning concerts at the stadium this summer.

With almost an eight-week installation process, the Westfield outfit do not expect to be in a position to play on the surface until 17 August – the second weekend of the league season.

Chairman Martin Ritchie is confident the new unified league body will look sympathetically on their request to be excused a home league match until the date of completion.

He said: “We’ve asked the SFL – or the new league body, of course – that if we could possibly make the first league game away that would mean we would be ready for the first home league game on 17 August.”