Charlton Athletic have asked for their Premiership game against Chelsea be replayed because of the terrible state of the Stamford Bridge pitch.
Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge pitch which resembled a beach for last Saturday’s Premier League encounter, was deemed playable by referee Mike Dean, but Charlton claim the conditions contravened FA Premier League rule 17 section I, which states that matches have to be played on grass.
“At no time prior to our fixture at Stamford Bridge on 11 January were we informed by Chelsea that we would be playing on an artificial sand surface and not grass,” said Charlton chief executive Peter Varney.
“On arrival at Stamford Bridge, we were advised by Chelsea officials that the game was in doubt and the pitch was being inspected by the match referee, Mike Dean.
“Alan Curbishley immediately raised the matter with the referee and was advised the pitch met the league criteria of ‘being flat’ and on this basis the match would go ahead.
“We were not offered an opportunity for our players to train on the artificial surface to judge the effect of the bounce of the ball
“In our opinion, video evidence will show the bounce was different to a normal grass surface, and to make decisions on theappropriate footwear to be worn.
“Chelsea officials advise us that their players trained on the pitch on Thursday and Friday of last week, and the footwear worn by their players in the match was appropriate for an artificial surface.
“The footwear worn by some of our players was not appropriate for the surface and again we will refer to video evidence on this point.
“We have reached the conclusion that – in the interests of the integrity of the FA Premier League and sportsmanship between member clubs – we must lodge a formal complaint to the FA Premier League.
“In the light of the evidence available, we are requesting that the match be replayed on a grass surface.