Just a quick note on the pitch that was deemed acceptable by a UEFA ‘consultant’: Who an earth was the so called ‘consultant’? It is surprising if anyone genuinely qualified to a high level in turf management, or with even rudimentary knowledge, would rate this as a pitch suitable for such a high profile game.
It does pose a serious question of how was the pitch monitored over time, especially since the start of the season. If a well thought out monitoring and assessment plan was in place then a trend would have been easily noticed. The trend being that the carrying capacity for the pitch was shown to be exceeded and the type and amount of maintenance work carried out, and subsequent management decisions, could have been adjusted accordingly to ensure a much better surface was delivered for players and spectators alike.
Good working practices should be undertaking this type of monitoring work on a regular basis and this example just illustrates what can happen if such good practices are not implemented properly, or maybe even not carried out at all.
Chris Gray, 16th March 2017 (updated 17th March 2017)