Newport County reveal where they are set to groundshare following complaints that the pitch at Rodney Parade isn’t in good condition.
The League Two club’s boss Michael Flynn believes the Exiles should be given a break by the EFL to move away from their pitch issues at Rodney Parade, which is shared with the Dragons Rugby region.
The Exiles’ encounter against Stevenage showed why the club asked if they can move some of their eight remaining home fixtures from their current ground to take the strain off the playing surface.
Newport County chairman Gavin Foxall recently told the Argus that an EFL board meeting was set for Thursday on decision on the short-term ground move .
“It would be welcome,” said Flynn.
“It’s the ground staff that I feel sorry for as well as the players, they are working so hard in what is an almost impossible situation.
“If it happens then it will be something that we would be comfortable with. It’s not the norm but this season is not the norm either.
“There needs to be allowances for situations like this and hopefully we might get something positive.
“If we had any bad weather then a game is going to be off and there is only a week spare, and that is an international week and we’ve already had one player called up [Malta’s Luke Gambin].”
Newport County can confirm that two of our upcoming home Sky Bet League Two fixtures against Bradford City and Leyton Orient will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Despite the continued efforts of Rodney Parade’s groundstaff, the maintenance of the pitch has become more difficult due to the weather conditions and fixture pile-ups in an unprecedented season for Newport County AFC and Dragons Rugby. The hybrid Rodney Parade surface was also scheduled to be re-laid last summer but the work was put on hold owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The club has been in dialogue with representatives from the EFL in recent weeks with a view of finding an alternative venue for both games, which will give the pitch a chance to recover ahead of County’s remaining fixtures of the campaign.
A proposal to move the fixtures against Bradford and Orient, scheduled for Tuesday 9th March and Saturday 20th March respectively, was put forward and given the green-light by an EFL Board on Thursday.
The switch of venue will give the Rodney Parade surface some welcome breathing space over the coming weeks, with County’s next home game in Newport set to take place against Scunthorpe on Saturday 27th March.
Newport chairman, Gavin Foxall, said: “We are very grateful to colleagues at the EFL for their support and understanding in these unprecedented times.
“My thanks and appreciation to Ken Choo and all the staff at Cardiff City for accommodating. It is a good example of how the football community comes together in challenging circumstances.”
Mark Jones, Managing Director at Dragons Rugby, said: “We have been in dialogue with Newport County AFC and understand the decision they have taken to take two games to Cardiff.
“With three back-to-back home weekends for Dragons in March, this decision will allow us to protect the pitch and aid its recovery before Newport County AFC return to Rodney Parade at the end of the month.”
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Fans reacted as Newport County reveal where they are to groundshare upcoming fixtures…
@APort76: I’d rather us stay and play on Rodney Beach
@ianstreet67: Is that why we’ve stuck some blue and white in the new commemorative kit 🤣🤣
@iiJvcob: Nice one.
@BenGrocott99: But we’re tinpot because our pitch froze for our game against you the other week 🤔
@JOEWILLS13: I’m pleased and glad to hear it as at the CCS the pitch is far better than at crappy RP.
@BenCCFC1927: Small Club mentality
@JPouch: That’s a great result for the County!! Thank you EFL & Cardiff City!! But how is the pitch going to recover if the Dragons are still playing??
@liam5jones: Get in
@nige_hally: I’m pleased for Newport but clubs get fined for alot less. EFL need to be even handed across leagues. I can’t see this happening with fans in grounds.
@_ccfcdan: So tinpot haha
@DanielClausen19: We wearn’t that lucky last season when our pitch was like a beach!
@JackHerbertt: Fuck off and use ur own scummy mud pitch
@wesley_ceiron18: Biggest club in sakes always helping the small teams out
@jacwillisccfc: Ffs , tinpot club
@ThreeBluebirds_: Newport think they’re our rivals, they’re just like an annoying little brother trying to have a turn on the Xbox…
@jamiedharris: Can actually play some football now?
@ExiledBen: All the other teams are pissed we’re moving to a Prem level surface not realising that we’ve been at a major disadvantage for the majority of the season…