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Clegg: Undersoil Heating Beyond a Championship Budget
Clegg: Undersoil Heating Beyond a Championship Budget
Sunday, 12th Feb 2012 19:56

Town chief executive Simon Clegg says the club could look at the installation of undersoil heating as part of pitch improvements but only once the Blues are back in the Premier League. Clegg says the six-figure cost of such work is beyond the budget of a Championship side.

Clegg told TWTD: “We will look at lots of things in a Premier League scenario, including potentially the laying down of a new pitch and that is the time that you’d want to do it. But that would be a six-figure commitment. You can’t do it on a Championship budget."

He admits that Saturday’s abandoned game against Middlesbrough might have stood a greater chance of being completed if the club had undersoil heating: “We’ll never know but possibly verging on the probably would be my view of it.”

Saturday’s match was the first abandoned Portman Road fixture since November 1972. Then, a fuse blew at an electrical sub-station causing a floodlight failure in the 61st minute of a league game against Coventry with the Blues a goal down. They eventually won the restaged match 2-0.

The only other senior match abandoned at Portman Road since the club turned professional was in November 1948 when an FA Cup first round tie against Aldershot was brought to an early halt in the 63rd minute due to fog with Town a goal ahead. The Shots won the rerun 3-0.

Last season’s Watford game was one of only two postponed during former groundsman Alan Ferguson’s 12-year spell at Town - new man Ben Connell took over in the summer - and Clegg says the club has generally had a good record with the heated bubble purchased in the late 1990s: “This is the first season that we’ve had a requirement in the Championship to have pitch protection which we’ve already had for around 15 years. How many games have we had called off in that time?

“You’ve got to look at the level of investment that’s required [to install undersoil heating] against the benefit of it.

“We need to recognise that, while everyone is quite rightly upset about the game being abandoned on Saturday, it needs to be viewed in the context of the extreme conditions that we’ve experienced.

"I’m not sure of the last time that Portman Road got down to -13. I think the sensible thing is to view this in the context of some quite freak weather conditions.”

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blueblood66 added 20:19 - Feb 12
cough up Marcus

s6blue added 20:20 - Feb 12
genius comments cleggy

campowasgod added 20:24 - Feb 12
But a £100K legal bill for rent dispute is within Championship budget ?????

hampstead_blue added 20:27 - Feb 12
a sound financial statement.

To install under soil heating under our current financial position would be a crazy investment.

If they did I would guarantee that hundreds of fans would scream 'bad value for money, should have bought a new striker'

Well said Mr Clegg.

blueoff added 20:28 - Feb 12
Oh no Mr Clegg, what have you said now you silly man,
Swindon are making plans to install it !,
It's a fraction of the money you've wasted on letting good players leave foc,
Selling Rhodes and praising Keane up ad a driven man,
Best you go now Cleggy before you do anymore damage to our once great club.

SitfcB added 20:30 - Feb 12
Coventry can afford it.

smellmycheese added 20:32 - Feb 12
Didn't we receive a seven figure fee for Mr Wickham only a few months ago? Where the feck has the money gone ?


tractorboy1961 added 20:34 - Feb 12
Whilst I agree the cost out weighs the benefits why has he chosen to say this now?

I agree with campowasgod re the legal bill!

If Clegg has got anything to say right now surely it should be to clarify the position on refunds for the farce that happened on Saturday. But this clown has no idea of timing. Just like on the back of several straight defeats telling us we have to buy two new shirts a season " in line with other clubs" . This could have been told to us at anytime.

This man is a liability and should be driven up the A12 to where his real interest is at Stratford.

righty added 20:46 - Feb 12
The mans an idiot cheap skate alot of championship sides have undersoil heating still when we are in Div1 or 2 because thats where these idiots are taking us

dommyboyblue added 20:52 - Feb 12

six figure sum to save one game a year and stop a bunch of whining fools bleating on about it for about an hour. Boring, move on.

Rather it was spent on a player, centre half preferably. And even more importantly anyone heard if we are drafting in a centre half before tuesday? If not we have the one and only Damian Delaney playing centre half.

jas0999 added 20:52 - Feb 12
It would also seem a CB is beyond a Championship budget - well at least at ITFC. Of course, a manager who has delivered degfeats in over half of our games this season and wjo is unable to attract decent players does not help. A six figure fee would be better than signing Jimmy Bullard. PJ and Clegg OUT.

jas0999 added 20:56 - Feb 12
hampstead_blue - the trouble is Clegg and PJ can not sign players as January proved and this Summer, where they actually only negotiated TWO fees. May as well spend the money on under soil heating rather than waste money on this idiotic balloon thing - which has failed twice now - equally as many fees Clegg has negotiated in the same time!

itfchorry added 20:56 - Feb 12
Righty - think we need a few more Clegg Out
Banners -
Will be taking myn to Pompey

Clegg Out

BluedanW added 21:05 - Feb 12
Even a championship side that sold a young player for £8M and spent very little since?

Garv added 21:18 - Feb 12
So Jas, Cresswell isn't a decent player? Chopra isn't a decent player? JET isn't a decent player? Bullard wasn't a decent player through the whole second half of last season? (I can't understated anyone criticising his signing whatsoever, everyone wanted him). Drury isn't looking like a decent player? Andrews wasn't a decent player?

The reason for players deciding against signing in January is simply our league position. To say our manager can't attract decent players is stupid, although I'm not surprised it came from you.

RegencyBlue added 21:25 - Feb 12
I think Clegg and the balloon have a lot in common.

Both of them blow a lot of hot air and are completely useless!!!

Hermann_eats_puffin added 21:47 - Feb 12
Whilst I'm as frustrated as everybody else at having wasted petrol money etc on yesterday's game I have to agree that I can't see that spending a six figure sum on undersoil heating is a priority right now.

In the era where Premiership tv money & the post Bosman player power has pushed player wages to a ridiculous level it costs enough just to run the club & pay the wages. We've all got issues with the way the club is run and can rightly be disgruntled with many of the decisions taken by Clegg et al.

However the reality of running a Championship club is that we lose circa £10 million per season. Unless any of us are able to buy out Marcus Evans & bank role a £10 million per year loss, which I seriously doubt, we're going to have to live with the fact that some decisions that we don't like or agree with ate taken.

I think that hapless Clegg seems to lurch from one PR disaster to another. Some look back through Rose tinted spectacles and wish for a return of Sheepshanks at the helm. Whilst I've a lot of time for Sheepshanks and love the fact that he's a Tiwn man through & through let us not forget that he presided over the financial melt down of our club which put in train the circumstances that have got us here over the last ten or so disastrous years.

There's a lot of reasons to sling mud at Clegg but on subjects such as not paying over the odds wages or throwing money around right, left & centre should not be one in my humble opinion.

In the modern era I've very little time for the overpaid prima donnas who are the privaliged few who get to do what everyone of us dreams of doing which is play for Town. We'd all play for free but in the real world Town have been paying the absolutely sickening going rates for players wages.

At a time when everybody else is struggling to find jobs, taking pay freezes/cuts, reduced working hours I find the amount that footballers are paid disgusting. However that's the modern game.

Perhaps if the game were run on a tighter financial basis with players earning a lot less clubs wouldn't be facing annual £10 million pound losses. Under those circumstances perhaps we'd have enough money to refund primes matchday tickets or admit free entry to the rearranged fixture.


Garv added 21:53 - Feb 12
Worth it for one game a year?

Hermann_eats_puffin added 21:54 - Feb 12
meant "peoples matchday tickets"

onlygoingoneway added 21:55 - Feb 12
This could all of been avoided if the ref/ground staff had actually looked at the weather forecast to see that once the bubble/hot air was taken off the pitch the temp would still be below freezing. They should have realised that the pitch would have harden up before the game was due to finish at 4.45pm, especially if parts were bad at 11.15am, why not call if off then and save quite a few fans from travelling. I know not all but those that had set off could of at least turned back earlier and not wasted so much time & effort.

StowTractorBoy added 22:18 - Feb 12
Hermann that is the most sensible post I have seen on here for many a month.
Well done Sir.

ThatMuhrenCross added 22:46 - Feb 12
Hmm, well Tamas Priskin was a seven-figure sum, yet we somehow managed to find the cash. I just think, undersoil heating would be far more beneficial to this club than players like Priskin. Not to mention Leadbitter...

Daleyitfc added 22:52 - Feb 12
I was at that game against Coventry : Colin Stein scored their goal. Don't think it was a sub-station fault though, as only some of the lights on each stanchion went out entirely (they all went out at first then some came back on). Pretty sure it was simply a fault with the 'old' lights : they were replaced soon after. They brought the house lights up in a vain attempt to finish the game but had no hope. And, no, no-one got any of their money back! On this occasion, I think just the Middlesbrough fans should get a full refund. If you're an Ipswich fan who's daft enough to waste your money on the current pile of crap that masquerades as an Ipswich team, you deserve all you get. Jewell out. And Evans Group. Clegg is an irrelevance.

Tractastic added 22:53 - Feb 12
@ Garv re reponding to Jas0999
Obviously our league position has nothing to do with the manager?

Garv added 22:55 - Feb 12
Well of course it is but that's not the issue and not what I'm arguing. I'm saying the statement that PJ can't attract decent players is ridiculous.

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