'Wembley pitch state not caused by concerts'

Industry insiders slam FA chiefs for suggesting gigs caused bad playing surface

Muse crowd at Wembley June 07
Music industry insiders have said that Football Association chiefs who suggested that the poor playing conditions at Wembley Stadium are caused by the pop concerts held at the venue are wrong.

Earlier this month Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said that he didn't think that concerts were to blame – a sentiment echoed by a variety of industry insiders.

According to Music Week a variety of anonymous music industry heads pointed to the fact that the last concert to take place at the venue was Madonna's gig there in September – with the pitch since being relayed in January.

The insiders went on to say that the venue's gig schedule could actually help the ground staff try out new kinds of grass surface. The pitch is scheduled to be re-laid after gigs by U2, Oasis and Coldplay this summer.

"It is simplistic to blame concerts," one of the sources was quoted as saying. "The two [gigs and football matches] are not mutually incompatible.

"They worked in the old place, it is just a question of getting the new microclimate right and finding out what pitch works best."

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