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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Steelmen warned over pitch state

Fir Park
Motherwell says they are working on improving their heating system.

Motherwell will be fined 20,000 if another match is postponed this season because Fir Park's pitch is unplayable.

The club was handed the suspended fine by the SPL after under-soil heating problems led to the postponement of their match against Hearts in December.

The sanction also takes into account the poor state of the club's playing surface last season.

"The suspended nature of this fine will deter any repeat performance," said SPL secretary Iain Blair.

The fine will also become payable if the Lanarkshire club fail to make improvements to their heating facility before the start of next season.

All SPL clubs must have an effective winter underground pitch heating system as a condition of entry to the league.

"Motherwell have provided us with assurances that steps are being taken to upgrade their system," added Blair.

Following the call-off on 6 December, Motherwell employed a hot-air dome to thaw out their playing surface.

However, the pitch has deteriorated rapidly since then, with the surface badly rutted and bare in patches.

Several football matches have fallen foul of the weather during the winter, with more games in doubt this weekend because of freezing temperatures and snow.

On the same day as Motherwell's postponement against Hearts, Kilmarnock's home fixture against Aberdeen was also called off because of frost.

However, the Ayrshire club escaped punishment because of their good track record.

Last season, whilst ground-sharing with Gretna, part of the Fir Park pitch had to be relaid at a cost of around 40,000 after several postponements due to waterlogging.

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see also
Dundee Utd v Inverness in doubt
12 Feb 09 |  Scottish Premier
Motherwell face call-off charges
19 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier
SPL begins frozen pitches inquiry
08 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier
Motherwell P-P Hearts
06 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier
Well action after second call-off
05 Feb 08 |  Scottish Cups

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