Following several postponements at the MKM Arena this season so far, I wanted to take the opportunity to update the supporters on an ongoing issue we are currently facing with the MKM Arena playing surface.
The pitch has a proper installed drainage system under the playing surface which for years has ensured only a very small amount of games have been postponed. This was installed many years ago — before there was even a stand behind the goal at the training ground end! However, over the last couple of years with rainfall levels increasing it has become clear that this drainage system is failing and can no longer cope. There are some areas of the pitch where the drainage isn’t performing as well as other areas increasing the time for the pitch to drain after rainfall.
Significantly one small area of the pitch however has been severely affected with the rainfall over the last month and half. It’s an area of around 8 yards by 5 yards situated just outside the penalty box at the training ground end of the ground. This area has become incredibly soft and unfortunately this very small area has so far led to two first team fixture postponements whilst the rest of the pitch has been perfectly fine. The ball rolls through the area fine however due to being so soft it fails the ball bounce test during pitch inspections.
Last week me and Jack Pearce met with a specialist sports turf drainage contractor to look at in season options to fix this area of the pitch without the need to dig the pitch up. A solution has been identified and we hope in the next couple of weeks work will be able to commence subject to condition of the pitch to get machinery onto it. Before this work commences in the short term we are now using covers to cover this area as well as the surrounding area.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game against Wingate and Finchley the update is that the pitch is currently playable and covers are on the main issue of the pitch so let’s hope we don’t get too much rainfall.
I understand everyone’s disappointment when you see news of a game being called off and I can assure you no one is more frustrated than myself when a game gets called off especially for such a small area. We remain committed to providing the best possible surface for the first team as well as the other three teams who use the MKM Arena.