The EFL have reiterated their stance on pitch regulations, confirming that if a club is promoted from the Vanarama National League and does not meet the criteria, they will not come up to League Two.
In that situation, the team finishing 23rd (the highest of the two relegation spots in League Two) would retain its EFL status. From the National League, Sutton United (currently 2nd), Bromley (8th) and Maidstone United (17th) all currently play on 3G pitches.
Here is the statement from the EFL’s website:
All EFL clubs have had the opportunity over the course of the season to input their views on the potential use of synthetic or artificial pitches within the EFL as part of a wider Stadium Criteria review.
The current position was communicated at today’s club meeting, and discussions will now continue ahead of the EFL’s AGM in June to determine if there is an appetite for either League-wide change or if there is an option to adopt the use of artificial pitches on a divisional basis.
Any National League club with aspirations to play in the EFL in 2018/19 was required to submit an application by December 31st 2017, confirming that in the event of achieving promotion, they would agree to comply with the qualification criteria, which includes the requirement for a grass playing surface. All National League clubs that have made an application have agreed to meet the criteria.
Should any National League club be promoted to the EFL but fail to meet the criteria by the nominated date, it will result in the 23rd club in League Two retaining its status. While the use of artificial pitches is ultimately a matter for EFL clubs to decide, there are any number of other parties that have a significant interest, including the FA and the PFA, whose members have historically been against the use of artificial pitches in the EFL. Their views will also need taking into account before any decision is made.