Major plastic pitch change put forward for Scottish football as grace period for clubs revealed

Controversial surfaces may be outlawed in landmark league vote

Plastic pitches in the top flight of Scottish football could be abolished by the 2026-27 season after clubs in the cinch Premiership today brought forward a resolution seeking to phase out the use of artificial surfaces.

Livingston’s relegation leaves Kilmarnock as the only confirmed Premiership club next season to have a plastic surface, although play-off finalists Raith Rovers have synthetic grass at Stark’s Park. The resolution requires nine clubs to vote in favour for it to be passed. The Scottish Professional Football League stated that the outcome of the vote would be announced “in due course”. The board also confirmed that the two-year period of grace was in line with the recommendations of the SPFL Competitions Working Group, which represents clubs across the league.

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A statement from the SPFL read: “Clubs in the cinch Premiership have today brought forward a resolution seeking to phase out the use of artificial pitches in the SPFL top flight. The SPFL will now issue the resolution to all cinch Premiership clubs, and the outcome of that vote will be announced in due course. The resolution requires nine votes in favour to be passed.

Synthetic pitches could be outlawed from the top flight of Scottish football.Synthetic pitches could be outlawed from the top flight of Scottish football.
Synthetic pitches could be outlawed from the top flight of Scottish football.

“The SPFL Board has confirmed at a meeting today that if the resolution is approved, it will grant a two-year period to allow clubs with an artificial pitch to plan accordingly, with artificial pitches not permitted in the top division from season 2026/27. This period of grace is in line with recommendations of the SPFL Competitions Working Group, which represents member clubs across the SPFL.

“Separately, the SPFL Board has approved plans for a Premiership-wide project to work with a leading pitch consultancy firm, which is regularly used by UEFA, to improve the standards of grass pitches in the cinch Premiership.”

Plastic pitches have become a topic of fierce debate within Scottish football, with a number of managers hitting out at the standard of them – Rangers manager Philippe Clement the most recent. Many other football associations across Europe ban clubs from having astroturf in their top flights, but some of the smaller clubs in Scotland who have it installed benefit financially from leasing out their pitch to the public. There have also been issues with grass surfaces this term, with Dundee seeing four games postponed at Dens Park.