A SHEFFIELD junior football team manager says council parks bosses have scored an own goal after failing to repair and repaint ‘dangerous’ sunken, rusting goalposts.
Paul Furniss, manager of Heeley FC under-14s, said the only work undertaken by Sheffield Council’s parks and countryside department since his complaint three months ago has been to repaint the other, safe set of goalposts on the club’s junior pitch at Ashleigh playing fields, Gleadless.
Paul said: “One of the goalposts is loose, uneven, rusty and thoroughly dangerous.
“It is the correct height at one end but sunken one foot lower at the other. The same goalpost is insecure moving back and forth.
“The set of posts is very rusty and sharp and both goal areas on our pitch also have huge divots 10 inches deep.
“I am horrified and hurt at the flippant and careless approach towards children’s safety shown by the council. Has an accident got to happen before they take me seriously?
“The pitches are open to the public - someone could be seriously hurt if the posts fell on them.”
Paul has complained to the Health and Safety Executive, which is investigating.
Sheffield Council’s head of parks David Hargate apologised for the delay.
He said: “We inspected progress on the site on Monday and we’ve made further arrangements to re-fix the goalpost and improve the playing surface.
“We had hoped to offer Mr Furniss an alternative pitch in the meantime, but unfortunately one goalpost at that pitch has been stolen and we are trying to source a replacement.
“We are committed to providing a suitable pitch and to ensuring it is back in use as soon as possible, and I’ll keep Mr Furniss informed of progress.”