Warburton: Artificial surfaces should be banned at highest level

Rangers boss Mark Warburton says artificial surfaces should be outlawed at the highest level of Scottish football after Martyn Waghorn suffered what could be a season-ending injury.

Waghorn will be out for between six to eight weeks at least after injuring his knee in the Scottish Cup win over Kilmarnock and Warburton believes the striker wouldn’t have suffered the nature of the injury had it been on grass.

On Thursday, Rangers released a statement saying the surface at Rugby Park was “unforgiving” which was described as ill-informed by Kilmarnock board member Michael Johnston.

But Warburton was adamant that the pitch was to blame for Waghorn’s injury and believes synthetic surfaces should be banned in the top flight.

“Personally I don’t think they should be used at the highest level. We understand the financial climate and the need for revenue but at the highest level to attract more investment would it not be better to have a consistently high level of quality grass pitch.”

He added: “There’s no doubt in our minds from a coaching and medical perspective that his injury wouldn’t have been of this nature had it not been for the pitch.

“Martyn Waghorn left that pitch with lacerations and immediate bruising there’s no doubt about that. When we use the term ‘unforgiving’ we meant in terms of the hard aspect of the pitch.

“Had it been on grass he wouldn’t have had the same nature of injury that he has now and that is just a simple fact.

“We’ll deal with playing on artificial surfaces it’s the same for both sides. But there’s a bigger picture here in terms of the surfaces and the quality of product at the highest level.

“We’re not ignoring the facts about revenue we can understand the financial climate. At the highest level there must be a quality of product which is essential.”

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