David Martindale has warned the SPFL they’d be making the game elitist if they ever voted to get rid of Livingston’s plastic pitch.
Lions boss Martindale will welcome Celtic to the only artificial surface in the top flight at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Sunday.
With a review of the SPFL underway, astroturf pitches could be on the agenda and that prospect has Martindale bristling. He is adamant his club simply cannot afford to revert to grass.
If a motion was put forward to outlaw plastic surfaces, a vote of 9-3 in favour would take it to the rest of the clubs in the country, where a 75 per cent majority would be required to push through any change.
Martindale said: “If you take it out of the league, you’re turning it into elitism football.
“We can’t afford a new £1million Desso park.
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“I’ve been to some stadiums here from December onwards and the pitches are terrible.
“I would play on ours over that any day of the week
“Manchester United played Young Boys in the Champions League last week on a plastic park so just what is everyone moaning about?”
Martindale insists the people most opposed to artificial surfaces are from an older generation.
He said: “Every modern day footballer has come through on plastic pitches.
“My generation only played on them every now and then.
“But every young footballer is now on them.
“I’m sure Celtic have a 3G surface down at Lennoxtown as well.”
Martindale accepts the look of Livi’s pitch is not the greatest but again says that is all down to having money to spend.
He said: “Unfortunately, we have black pellets on our pitch.
“But it would have cost £40,000 more for green pellets with the exact same pitch.
“Even when it snows here, we can get the tractor on to clear it, which allows us still to train.
“Will they ever try to vote on it? I don’t know and I don’t care.
“But it would change the dynamics of Scottish football because it’s just elitism.
“If that happens then football is not for all.
“Where’s the sporting integrity in that? Where would we train if we couldn’t use our own pitch?
“We haven’t got £500,000 or £1m to go off and find ourselves a new training facility.
“I’d love a Desso hybrid park but we can’t get it.”
Celtic will go to Livingston today looking to cure their recent travel sickness.
The Hoops have lost five of their six away games since Ange Postecoglou took charge.
They also haven’t won in West Lothian since 2007 and Martindale is aiming to make the 90 minutes as uncomfortable as he possibly can for them today.
He said: “Celtic have spent a fortune in the summer.
“They also have a wage bill of £55m so we have to try and make it uncomfortable for them at this ground.
“They are also in a transitional phase but Ange has them playing some very good football at the moment.
“I read that they’re one of the top four passing teams in Europe but will they relish coming to a plastic surface?
“Will the likes of Jota, Liel Abada, to name a couple of players, look forward to coming to play here? Probably not.
“They’ve also had a tough away game in Europe on Thursday so there is a little bit more vulnerability there.”