SPFL could vote to banish artificial pitches from Premiership - but lower leagues hold key influence

Kilmarnock and Hamilton’s relegation could bring about calls to ban artificial pitches in the Premiership.

Plastic pitches have been laid at 17 SPFL venues including Falkirk (above).

Both clubs will play in the Championship next season, removing two synthetic surfaces from the top flight, with their places taken by Hearts and Dundee who use grass pitches at Tynecastle and Dens Park respectively.

Livingston will remain as the only Premiership club with a plastic pitch and, according to the Daily Mail, senior club figures in Scottish football now want a debate on outlawing the divisive surfaces from top tier.

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Just nine of the Premiership’s 12 teams would be required to back a ban, which could take a proposal forward. However, an enforced rule change in the SPFL would also require the support of 75 per cent of members across all four divisions, and that could complicate matters.

Falkirk's plastic pitch was laid in 2013. Picture: Gary Hutchison/JPIMedia

Currently 17 of the 42 clubs use synthetic surfaces – including Falkirk, Raith Rovers and Queen of the South who have Premiership ambitions shared by deposed duo Kilmarnock and Hamilton. Queen’s Park are another and currently share with Falkirk with plans to lay similar at Lesser Hampden as part of the Glasgow ground's revamp.

Their votes would be key for the requisite numbers for change – or not – in the top flight.

While Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena is the only plastic pitch left in the Premiership, the Championship will include four – QOS, Raith, Killie and Hamilton. Numbers increase in League One where only Peterhead and Dumbarton play on grass. League Two will have four artificial surfaces at Annan, Kelty, Edinburgh and Stenhousemuir.

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