A SUCCESSFUL pub soccer team fears the club could disband over claims the grass on its home turf is too long.
Officials of Ramsbottom-based The Oaks FC say the state of the pitch led to one of its matches being abandoned after 75 minutes when an opposing player dislocated his knee when he turned his ankle on the overgrown grass.
Despite being told the grass at the pitches at Manchester Road, Redvales, was cut in October, Oaks FC secretary Sam Knight said: “Our football season got under way in September and I don’t think it has been cut since then. The grass is ankle-deep.”
Now, an uncertain future faces the club which last season won promotion from division four of the Rochdale Sunday League as well as lifting the divisional cup.
Mr Knight stressed: “Referees have mentioned that the grass is long and we have had complaints from other teams. We pay £700 a year to play at Manchester Road. If we can’t fulfil our home fixtures and to have to pay £40 to play at other locations, there is a real danger we’ll have to fold due to the financial aspects of all this.”
He has contacted Bury Council on behalf of the club to complain about the length of the grass. “We were told it wouldn’t be cut again until late April.
“Ideally, the grass should have been cut in November and if it had, we wouldn’t have the problem now.
“It’s the longest grass I’ve ever seen on a football pitch.
“There are three pitches at Redvales. Two out of the three are the worst while the third, which is played on more regularly, is better because it’s muddy and has been trampled down.”
He says the only other option would be for the club, which is unbeaten so far this season, to invest in equipment to cut the grass themselves.
“But we cannot afford a petrol mower,” he added.
A spokesman for Bury Council said the pitches were self- managed by Warth Fold Sports Club but as part of the self-management contract, the authority cuts the grass every two weeks except between October and March when the grass does not grow and when it is waterlogged.