A-League grand final pitch concerns could force Tahs move
TALKS are being held to move the Waratahs' game against the Blues on Saturday away from Allianz Stadium, as concern grows over the state of the pitch ahead of Sunday's A-League grand final.
A proposal has been put forward to switch the Waratahs game to North Sydney Oval, though huge logistic complications would have to be addressed before any potential deal could be struck.
A Waratahs spokesperson confirmed they had been approached on Monday afternoon by the State Government.
The spokesperson said they were open to investigating the idea of changing the match but at this stage the fixture is due to go ahead at Allianz Stadium as scheduled.
It's believed officials from Football Federation Australia and the SCG Trust, which runs Allianz, are meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss a variety of options, with players from both Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory expressing concern over how the pitch will play just 19 hours after a rugby union fixture.
While it remains more than likely that the Waratahs fixture will not be changed, the fact that such a radical proposal is even under consideration shows the alarm over how much the pitch could affect the A-League's showpiece event.
To move the game to North Sydney Oval would require the Trust to compensate the Waratahs significantly, not least as the venue holds only 15,000 spectators.
Broadcaster Fox Sports would also have to agree, though it has covered A-League games at North Sydney Oval previously.
Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Georgievski labelled the pitch "dreadful" in the wake of Sydney's 3-0 defeat of Perth on Saturday night, while Glory players privately described it as the worst they had played on this season.
Though it was relaid at the start of this year, it has suffered a punishing schedule in recent weeks.