Date: 24th August 2009 at 7:37pm
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Rotherham United and Don Valley officials have both responded to claims by Keith Hill the Manager of Rochdale that the pitch was unplayable on Sunday.

Don Valley hosted a U2 concert on Thursday which meant the playing area was covered for a number of days before leaving it looking very worn and bedraggled on Sunday. But, the referee, Gary Sutton passed the pitch playable about two and a half hours before the game was to commence. Mr Hill says that he found glass and nails on the pitch and is pondering over reporting this to the Football League.

Paul Douglas, Rotherham’s Chief Operating Officer told the Official Site, ‘The referee was happy for the game to go ahead.’

Pat Smith, General Manager of Don Valley said, ‘The appropriate measures to protect the pitch was planned ahead of this fixture so the game could go ahead. It was communicated to the club that the concert may lead to some discolouration of the grass.

‘As soon as the concert had finished, specialist teams from both Rotherham United and Don Valley started work on the pitch. The pitch was fully swept and raked twice before the official match inspection and metal detection, leveling equipment and sand was was also used to prepare the pitch. I attended the pre match inspection and it was passed fit to play on by match officials.

‘No complaints were made to Rotherham United or stadium ground staff on the day of the match. Had we received complaints we would have carried out further safety inspections. No glass was allowed in the stadium for the concert and security searches were carried out at the gates.

‘A great deal of time, effort and care was taken by both Don Valley and Rotherham United to get the pitch fit for play.’

It seems a little strange to me that, if glass and/or nails were found on the pitch after Mr Hill had already put in a complaint, that he didn’t show these to Don Valley or Club Officials. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this latest episode in Rotherham United’s life……