Livingston announced this morning that they have terminated former Celtic striker Anthony Stokes’ contract at the Tony Macaroni Arena – and Rangers fans quickly took to Twitter to call on Livi to rip up their plastic pitch as a result.
The West Lothian side only signed Stokes a few weeks ago as a replacement for one-time Rangers target Lyndon Dykes but the nomadic striker apparently couldn’t cope with training on Livi’s artificial pitch.
🆕| Livingston FC and Anthony Stokes regrettably announce a mutually agreed termination of the contract between both parties.
— Livingston FC (@LiviFCOfficial) September 15, 2020
Many fans have long felt that there is no place in the top-flight for artificial surfaces and insist that Stokes’ exit vindicates their position with the striker’s body feeling the strain from training on it every day.
Livingston, Kilmarnock and Hamilton all have varying quality of plastic pitches – with the one at the Tony Macaroni particularly unpopular – while a number of clubs in lower divisions also use them.
While there are financial benefits for club having artificial surfaces, fans just haven’t taken to them at all and would rather they weren’t used at the top level.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has regularly opted against risking certain players on artificial surfaces, including Joe Aribo when the Light Blues headed there last month on league duty – with the Gers boss even going as far as calling for them to be banned completely.
Rangers fans on Twitter were quick to voice their unhappiness with the pitches – with one fan saying they should be forced to move the games to grass pitches until the artificial surfaces are replaced.
Here are some of the comments from Rangers fans:
Postpone or move home stadiums for all 3 plastic pitch clubs to the nearest grass pitch stadiums https://t.co/9WQYmSp5BK
— Teddy Staunchly (@TeddyBearRFC) September 15, 2020
How long will the SPFL allow top flight teams to play on plastic pitches? Don’t like the guy at all but it’s beyond a joke now that players are turning down the chance to play purely because of the pitches https://t.co/pIbPUfSQhB
— William (@BearsTV_) September 15, 2020
Ban the plastic pitches.
— Dave (@Nimsay1872) September 15, 2020
Guys a walking meme !! https://t.co/gcZzYW8PrX
— Rab (@robertmcnaught) September 15, 2020
I feel sorry for him, it’s not like it’s been nigh profile news that Livi have a plastic pitch. https://t.co/vyVfBUFOv7
— Craig (@CraigPattersxn) September 15, 2020
Because of how bad the pitch is. 😂😂😂😂 Scottish football ladies and gentlemen. https://t.co/IdeiFk1P4B
— BMC Rangers Rants (@BMCRangersRants) September 15, 2020
Signing on fee ✅
Few weeks wages ✅
Got a feeling that’s all he was after
— G (@garryhood1872) September 15, 2020