British weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable. During winter, it is also becoming increasingly harsh. Heavy snow and ice can create havoc on the roads. It can also cause disruption to a wide range of industries. One particular industry that does not need more disruption at the moment is football; especially in Scotland where bad weather can have a major impact upon whether matches can be held.
Cancelled fixtures, due to heavy snow and frozen pitches, means lost revenue – something
Scottish football is desperate to minimise as it enters into a difficult but vital restructuring phase.
The Problem: Not all Clubs Have Under-Soil Heating
Postponed games is hardly good news for English teams in the Barclays Premier League and the lower divisions, of course. But most big English clubs are all geared up for brutal weather by having under-soil heating in place, and temperatures ‘down south’ rarely plunge as low as those north of the border (where under-soil heating at football grounds is not commonplace).
Many Scottish Clubs Are Currently in Financial Distress
In November, a survey of British football clubs by Bebgies Traynor (a firm specialising in corporate restructuring) found that – in contrast to English clubs whose finances overall are looking healthy despite recent global crises – six of the top thirty-two clubs in Scotland’s top three tiers are in financial distress, two more than were reporting acute problems six months ago.
Ken Pauttullo (of Begbies Traynor) told the Financial Times: “Part of Scottish football’s financial problems can be attributed to Rangers’ relegation, but lower attendances and reduced television income are also adding to clubs’ money problems.”
With all this, postponed matches are therefore the last thing Scottish clubs need…
Early December Saw A Spate of Cancelled Fixtures
On December 8th alone, no fewer than eight Scottish Football League matches were cancelled due to cold weather. Talking to the BBC on that date, Hamilton Academical FC secretary, Scott Struthers, said: “The freezing temperatures overnight for the past twelve days have not let up, and yesterday’s heavy rain also froze on top of the pitch. It is bone hard everywhere, with thick puddles of frozen ice in many places. There is frost in the ground to a depth of three to four inches.”
How a Heater Rental Company Can Help
Club groundsmen in Scotland (and England and Wales) seeking to defrost pitches in a fast, effective and affordable way should look to hire indirect-fired heaters from a reputable heater rental firm with a depot local to them.
How it works: After an enormous stretch of plastic sheeting is laid over a frozen pitch, hireable indirect-fired heaters blow and circulate hot air beneath. Within a matter of just a few hours, the pitch will thaw to the point that the fixture scheduled for that day becomes playable; meaning costly postponement (and the hassle of having to rearrange the game for a later date) is completely avoided.
A Team Effort Is The Key To Making Pitches Playable
With the aforementioned restructuring of Scottish football being undertaken to maintain interest in the game and protect broadcasting revenue, Scottish teams are becoming increasingly accountable. Avoidance of postponements due to snow and ice is something all clubs are being urged to prioritise.
Clubs that had the foresight to forge a link with their local heater hire specialist pre-season, or in September/October, will fair best this winter – they will see match cancellations minimised or even avoided altogether throughout the harshest months. Their chosen heater specialist will have an experienced team primed to respond immediately to an emergency call, and will have the most suitable indirect-fired heaters at the ground, in position and made up-and-running quickly and absolutely without fuss.