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

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Scottish Premiership clubs have voted in favour of banning the use of artificial pitches in the top-flight.

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

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

Following Livingston’s relegation, Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park is the only artificial pitch in the top flight – although the club are already planning on returning to grass in 2025.

Livingston, Scotland - April 27:A General Stadium View During A Cinch Premiership Match Between Livingston And Ross County At Tony Macaroni Arena, On April 27, 2024, In Livingston, Scotland.  (Photo By Rob Casey / Sns Group)
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Livingston have been relegated from the top-flight

Raith Rovers – who missed out on Premiership promotion after defeat to Ross County in the playoffs – also have an artificial pitch and described the proposal as ‘fundamentally flawed’ alongside lower league clubs Falkirk, Queen of the South and Hamilton Accies who are the only other club to have used the surface in the top flight.

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

Kilmarnock, Scotland - March 16: A Match Ball During A Cinch Premiership Match Between Kilmarnock And St Mirren At Rugby Park, On March 16, 2024, In Kilmarnock, Scotland. (Photo By Alan Harvey / Sns Group)
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All 12 Premiership clubs voted on the proposal which needed nine votes to pass

“This period of grace is in line with 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 is regularly used by UEFA, to improve the standards of grass pitches in the cinch Premiership. The SPFL will be engaging with Premiership clubs on this project ahead of the new season.”