Plastic pitches in line to return


English football is a step closer to reintroducing artificial pitches after the Football League announced plans to seek opinion on their possible return. The public consultation will run until the end of April and canvass the views of clubs, fans and officials.

The Football League's chief operating officer, Andy Williamson, said yesterday there was a "clear appetite" to reconsider the use of artificial surfaces. Support is strongest in League One and League Two, where clubs are attracted by the potential financial benefits from the move.

Accrington Stanley's chief executive, Rob Heys, said: "The Football League might be one of the oldest leagues in the world, but it is very forward-thinking."