Ripping up Harrogate Town’s 3G pitch is a small price to pay for promotion, says Simon Weaver

Simon Weaver believes that Harrogate Town playing their first home fixtures of 2020-21 away from the CNG Stadium would be a “small price to pay” for promotion to the Football League (EFL).

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

The Wetherby Road outfit tackle Notts County at Wembley on Sunday in the National League play-off final, with a place in League Two up for grabs.

Should Town emerge victorious from the biggest game in their 106-year history, they would have to replace their current 3G playing surface with a grass pitch in order to be permitted entry into the EFL.

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The club has revealed that it will begin ripping up it’s current pitch early next week – if they beat the Magpies – but with the new League Two season due to commence on September 12, there won’t be sufficient time to complete all of the required work in time for the big kick-off.

Harrogate chairman Irving Weaver stated in his programme notes ahead of Saturday’s play-off semi-final against Boreham Wood: “If we were promoted on August 2 we have a promotion-triggered contract to replace the 3G pitch with grass and a pre-requisite is that we have to have commenced work by August 4.

“It will take 10 weeks for the pitch to be ready and we have an agreement in principle with the EFL that we are able to groundshare for the first few matches.”

And, although it would be far from ideal for Town to commence a historic first-ever season in the Football League playing its home fixtures at another team’s ground, manager Simon Weaver is remaining philosophical about the issue.

“Of course it would be a blow, particularly for the fans, but I think it would be a small price to pay for promotion to League Two,” he said.

“Breaking that ceiling would be worth it, without a doubt. We would all just have to dig in for a few weeks.”

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