‘It’s the most expensive lawn he’s ever laid’

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IT’S a major project putting down the SIX layers that go to make a professional football pitch.

And you need a laptop just as much as you need barrows and shovels – and at least £250,000.

First, around four feet below the surface of the pitch, come the drains, pipes that take away water that seeps through the layers.

Then there are the pipes for the water-management system that supply the automatic, pop-up sprinklers to water the surface.

The next level up is around two-feet of gravel to allow water to drain through. Then six inches of sand and on top what looks like four inches of topsoil.

But there’s more to it than that.

“The pitch has a camber, that’s a curve from side to side with the highest part the centre of the pitch and a drop of 270mm by the time it gets to the touchline, all pitches have that for drainage,” says head groundsman David Fellowes.

“The surface is levelled using GPS positioning and computers. The top soil is actually Fibresand which is topsoil and nylon fibres combined which helps to hold the surface together.

“We will seed in the next couple of days and the seed will germinate and grow around and through the fibres.

“They will help to hold the surface together when it‘s being played on.

“£250,000 may sound a lot but other, richer clubs like Aston Villa and Arsenal use a system called Desso which is another version of using artificial fibres that can cost up to £1million per pitch.

“We have to live within our budget but we want this to be one of the best pitches in the country.

“The chairman has already said it’s the most expensive lawn he’s ever laid!” laughed David.