Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes today backed the call to banish artificial pitches from the top flight but insists clubs must be given financial assistance to achieve that target.
PFA Scotland delivered a petition to the SPFL on Thursday calling for artificial surfaces to be banned from the Premiership.
It was a unanimous vote where every player at the nine top flight teams that currently play on grass voted against plastic pitches.
PFA Scotland opted not to ask players at the clubs that have artificial pitches – Kilmarnock, Hamilton and Livingston – to sign as it would put them in a potentially difficult position with their employers.
McInnes says the players have spoken and must be listened to by the SPFL for the good of the Scottish game. He is not surprised at the unanimous vote after gauging the opinion of his own players towards artificial surfaces.
The Dons gaffer will not criticise clubs for laying the controversial 4G pitches, as there is an understanding it was done out of necessity, primarily financial.
Which is why, if artificial pitches were to be scrapped, there has to be financial backing available to allow those clubs affected to be able to move to grass.
McInnes said: “If you were to poll the majority of managers and supporters as well, I think we would all agree that we would much prefer to play our top-flight football on a good grass pitch.
“That is something we should all be working towards.
“If these clubs need financial assistance to make that happen then that is something we should be working towards.
“These clubs committed to artificial surfaces because the pitch will be needed for all their youth development commitments.
“It will be needed for the community plus other financial revenue such as renting it out.
“These pitches are normally working round the clock to bring in much-needed finance to these clubs.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of that side of it for these clubs but I do feel they should be encouraged, assisted and given the help needed financially and in any other way to get the best grass pitch.
“That would be the best-case scenario.
“It is not a criticism towards those clubs that have committed towards plastic pitches because they have done it for a reason.
“Probably for the majority the reason is due to the financial aspect of it.
“It is what works for their club.”
The SPFL responded to the petition by insisting the artificial pitches used by Kilmarnock, Hamilton and Livingston have all been given the go ahead by Fifa.
An SPFL spokesman also insisted artificial pitches used in the top flight are independently inspected by Fifa experts and are also subject to “multiple, random match-day inspections”.
McInnes insists league chiefs must listen to the players’ call and hopes the “compelling” argument to demand an all-grass league remains high profile until the bid reaches the desired resolution.
He said: “It is quite compelling that all the players have voted so strongly.
“It is maybe not a total surprise based upon how my own dressing room would feel about it.
“Hopefully, it is not just newspaper talk for a couple of days that fills the pages and gets people talking for a day or two but is then forgotten about. We have to listen to the players.
“Working towards grass pitches would be the best thing all round, as we have to be constantly updating and modernising our league to try to get the best perception of the Scottish top flight.
“Hopefully, that is something that happen in the future.”