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    Wembley pitch state 'not caused by concerts'

    coldplaynme.jpgMusic industry insiders have said that Football Association chiefs who suggested that the poor playing conditions at Wembley Stadium are caused by the pop concerts held at the venue are wrong.


    Earlier this month Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said that he didn't think that concerts were to blame – a sentiment echoed by a variety of industry insiders. According to Music Week a variety of anonymous music industry heads pointed to the fact that the last concert to take place at the venue was Madonna's gig there in September – with the pitch since being relayed in January.


    The insiders went on to say that the venue's gig schedule could actually help the ground staff try out new kinds of grass surface. The pitch is scheduled to be re-laid after gigs by U2, Oasis and Coldplay this summer.

    "It is simplistic to blame concerts," one of the sources was quoted as saying. "The two [gigs and football matches] are not mutually incompatible. They worked in the old place, it is just a question of getting the new microclimate right and finding out what pitch works best."




    Coldplay or Capello - what's more important?


    wembleythmb.jpgFabio Capello fears the controversial playing surface at Wembley - and the £757million national stadium's hyper-critical crowd - could harm England's World Cup qualifying campaign, writes the Daily Mail this weekend.


    Capello's team are five points clear in Group Six ahead of the home match against Ukraine a week on Wednesday. But with some England stars expressing their dissatisfaction over the Wembley pitch, Capello and his backroom staff believe the state-of-the-art stadium may have become more of a hindrance than a help.


    Wembley have four weeks after concerts by Oasis on July 9, 11 and 12 to relay the pitch for the showpiece Community Shield on August 9. It is understood the pitch will then be ripped up and relaid a week later, after the August 14 concert by U2, with just two weeks for the new turf to bed down before the rugby league Challenge Cup final, followed a week later by the Slovenia friendly on September 5 and Croatia qualifier four days later. The surface is in line to be ditched for a third time after Coldplay's September 18 and 19 shows, with only three-and-a-half weeks to prepare another new pitch for the Belarus qualifier on October 14.


    Read the full article at the Wembley threads in the Coldplay Live forum here (18th Sept) and here (19th Sept).


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