Last updated : 06 January 2006 By Editor
United's cup tie at the weekend could be more difficult than anticipated due to the problems Burton are having with the pitch at their new stadium. From the Telegraph

The Burton chairman, Ben Robinson, whose club stand to make £300,000 from the tie, said United had already commented on the turf which was re-laid when Sir Alex Ferguson sent a side down for the official opening of the stadium earlier in the season.

"It has cost us a fortune in sand," he said. "The United scout came to watch Nottingham Forest reserves play on it after the draw had been made. I got a phone call the next day, asking me what the problem was with our pitch.

"In front of the main stand it is like a pudding. We spent £11,000 having it relaid before United opened our stadium and there is obviously an inherent problem with the pitch design."

In an attempt to provide some kind of acceptable surface, Burton have employed a machine used to drain the old Wembley pitch, which creates one-yard slits and then drops pebbles into them to absorb the water before it is filled in with sand.

"That is the short-term solution," Robinson said. "In the summer we have to spend a lot of money having it rectified more permanently." Fortunately for Burton, money is no longer the problem it was before the draw.