What should have been a marquee match for Liverpool FC Women ended up getting called off on Sunday morning. Manchester United were set to visit Prenton Park on Sunday but the match was postponed following a pitch inspection and a determination that the overnight rain had soaked the grass too thoroughly to play, despite the groundskeeper’s efforts in the early morning. While the tickets will be refunded and the match rescheduled, the damage has already been done.
The pitch problems are nothing new, as Prenton Park is a League One ground and as such only maintained with League One funds. Not only is it across the river from Liverpool proper (making it harder to get to for supporters), the pitch is not at a “top flight” standard that any top flight team should be playing on. Earlier in the season the pitch came under fire as Chelsea came to visit and manager Emma Hayes called the conditions “a stain on the club.” She wasn’t wrong but was forced to apologize, for whatever reason.
Thanks to the fans for coming out yesterday. @LiverpoolFCW are a wonderful team with a fabulous manager and deserved the point against us. Also I apologise for my frustration regarding the pitch. You deserve better. I’m sorry for my comments.— Emma Hayes MBE (@emmahayes1) December 16, 2019
Liverpool likes to pride itself on it’s “two teams, one club” ethos and even went so far as redoing the women’s dressing rooms in the stadium to better uphold that theme, but have yet to actually do anything about where the Women’s team play, and even worse train. Their training facilities are also shared by Tranmere Rovers, while the Men’s team and Academy are about to move into a brand new £50 million training facility.
Yes, it’s not exactly realistic for Liverpool to pay to improve the pitch at Prenton Park as that might be seen as an unfair advantage for Tranmere Rovers as well. The pitch problems are just another blight on the club’s treatment of the Women’s team, though, and shouldn’t be ignored. If only the club could invest in maybe a smaller stadium meant just for the Women’s team — especially if they’re happy to spend £50 million on a new training facility for the men’s team.