Scottish Premiership: Artificial pitches to be banned from 2026 after vote | football news

Scottish Premiership clubs have voted to ban the use of artificial pitches in the top flight.

The surface will be phased out by 2026 after at least nine of the Premiership’s 12 clubs approved a vote on the proposal.

Next season’s top flight will consist of Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee, Dundee United, Hearts, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Motherwell, Rangers, Ross County, St Johnstone and St Mirren.

After Livingston’s relegation, Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park is the only artificial pitch in the top flight, although the club already plans to return to grass in 2025.

Livingston have been relegated from the top flight

Raith Rovers, who missed out on promotion to the Premiership after defeat to Ross County in the playoffs, also have an artificial pitch and described the proposal as “fundamentally flawed” along with lower league clubs Falkirk, Queen of the South and Hamilton Accies, which are the only others. club to have used the surface in the highest category.

In a statement, the SPFL said: “The SPFL board has granted a two-year period to allow clubs with artificial pitches to plan the phasing out of artificial pitches in the top flight of Scottish football.

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - MARCH 16: A ball during a Premiership match between Kilmarnock and St Mirren at Rugby Park, on March 16, 2024, in Kilmarnock, Scotland.  (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)
All 12 Premiership clubs voted on the proposal which needed nine votes to pass.

“This grace period is in line with the recommendations of the SPFL Competitions Working Group, which represents member clubs across the SPFL.

“The SPFL Board recently approved plans for a Premiership-wide project to work with a leading pitch consultancy firm, which UEFA regularly uses, to improve the standards of grass pitches in the Premiership. The SPFL will collaborate with Premiership clubs in this project for the new season.

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