Unfortunately, football isn’t a summer sport unless you class the Euros that are due to kick off on Friday. For the big sides, this doesn’t cause alarm. They can play in any weather because they have the resources at their disposal. The smaller clubs are different because they lack the facilities to play on a regular basis. As a result, the lower leagues have to call games off when the weather turns. And, when you live in Britain, it happens a lot. Instead of accepting it as a fact, however, can more be done to help them shoulder the responsibility?
The first step is to provide them with the facilities that they need to get the pitch ready for game time. If the clubs in League 1 and 2 had underground heating and drainage systems, they would never have to postpone a fixture. The issue is that the equipment is expensive, and they don’t have the cash. A simple solution is for the FA to subsidize the cost and help them out financially. As the governing body, it is their duty to help the clubs whatever way they can to produce a certain standard of football. Although it might seem a little socialist, it is only helping out the small clubs that need a hand.
Instead of asking the FA to fork out the cash, the money in the game could be distributed more evenly. As www.theguardian.com shows, the Premier League has the monopoly on money in England. The team that finishes twentieth can earn as much as the club that ends up as champions. But, is it fair that these teams get a piece of the pie while the others suffer? Clubs and grounds around the country are disappearing, and it is because they don’t have the money to compete. A few extra quid in the coffers would allow them to improve their facilities and play more games. At the lower level, every postponed fixture is a missed financial opportunity.
Even though it would be nice to see a change, the truth is that nothing will change anytime soon. The status quo has been the same for over twenty years, so there needs to be another solution. Luckily there is, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. The solution is to cover the ground under field covers that absorb the majority of the rain or snow. At http://www.nasussupply.com/large-tarps/field-covers, they are available at a reasonable price. In fact, they are so reasonable that every lower league club can afford to invest. It is a simple and basic solution, but it works for a variety of sports from cricket to baseball.
Or, clubs can decide to take the weather out of the equation. There isn’t a rule that says the clubs have to play on grass. What they can do is play on an artificial surface that is easier to maintain. Just take a look at the clubs in Russia and what they play on to get a better idea. The conditions are far worse, yet they still play on a regular basis.