Motherwell have confirmed that they’ve been able to install a new synthetic surface at Fir Park thanks to Celtic’s transfer money for David Turnbull.
Celtic signed Turnbull back in the summer of 2020 and splashed out as much as £3million to secure him [Daily Record]. Since then, he’s proven to have been worth every penny with 35 direct goal contributions in 71 games [Transfermarkt].
The transfer fee Celtic spent on the player turned out to be almost double Motherwell’s record transfer fee. And it looks like it’s played a key role in improving the Fir Park pitch too.
The club’s chief executive has explained the decision and pointed out that it was the money gained from Celtic’s transfer that effectively paid for the new turf. As quoted by the Sunday Post [print edition, 05/06, Post-Match supplement, page 12], Burrows said: “We spent a six-figure sum last season just renovating the old surface. But you can’t do that year-on-year.
“We won awards for having the best pitch in the country – again, down to Paul [club groundsman] – but that was just papering over the cracks. The problems with the drainage, in particular, were so bad that we couldn’t host Under-21, youth, and women’s international matches or Challenge Cup finals, all of which we used to do.
“Fortunately because of the fee we received from Celtic for David Turnbull, we had the resources to start from scratch once the season finished. We’ve become the fourth club in Scotland to install a hybrid surface – that’s 95% grass, strengthened by synthetic fibres – after Celtic, Rangers, and Hearts. “
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Motherwell upgrade pitch as Celtic transfer money put to good use
Interestingly, this story comes not long after St Johnstone splashed out £100k to upgrade their McDiarmid Park pitch ahead of the new season [The Courier].
Fir Park has been one of the more smoother surfaces in Scottish football in recent years. However, the fact they’re upgrading to a similar style of turf to what Celtic and Rangers have – that’s a major positive.
It’s also a key indicator of just how big a boost it can be to keep money within Scottish football. That Motherwell are still utilising the Turnbull transfer cash is an indication of just how big a deal it was for them. Upgrading the pitch will undoubtedly suit the likes of Celtic next season too and will bolster the quality of the game up here.
It only goes to highlight the importance of continuing to strengthen with Scottish-based talent. When you look at the impact Turnbull has made at Parkhead too, it’s been anything but unsatisfying for us.
Of course, there are certainly more pitches in Scotland’s top flight that could do with being taken to task. Not least the 2 artificial surfaces we still have at both Livingston and Kilmarnock respectively.
But credit to Motherwell for undertaking this particular operation. A move that can only help the football on show at Fir Park next season.