Sydney FC are set to ditch the pitch at Sydney Cricket Ground for the crunch match against Perth Glory unless conditions can be dramatically improved in the next 10 days.
There was a furious backlash against the state of the field at the SCG for last night's vital Big Blue clash between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory that saw Terry Antonis limp off after twisting his knee on the uneven surface.
After the match, Victory coach Kevin Muscat branded the surface a disgrace.
"To ask players to come to work and work under those conditions is unacceptable," he said. "If nothing gets said, we're just accepting it.
"It's part of the reason everyone else treats us with contempt - all the other codes. Because we accepted that.
"That surface was not conducive to a ball rolling on it. It was dangerous. I've never seen a surface where there was three different types of grass.
"There might be a serious injury as a result from it."
Tough result yesterday, Well done Sydney.— Ola Toivonen (@OlaToivonen20) April 6, 2019
Regarding the pitch the federation (FFA) need to take their responsibility. They talk about growth and making the league exciting. In my opinion presenting a pitch like that is not acceptable.
The Victory boss stressed that it had no impact on the scoreline and paid tribute to the way the match was played and Sydney's win – but said he felt the game should never have kicked off at the SCG.
He added: "A stance should have been made tonight, but unfortunately it wasn't."
Under the terms of their lease with the SCG Trust, Sydney FC are understood to be obliged to play six games a year at the SCG if it is aavailable – but they managed to work with the FFA to ensure the fixtures meant the SCG was only available for three of the home and away games this season.
Now though, they are looking at moving the scheduled fixture against Perth Glory on April 18 away from the SCG to an alternative venue.
CEO Danny Townsend has conceded the surface conditions were unacceptable and wants answers from SCG staff on remedies available.
“The pitch clearly wasn’t up to the standards required for professional football and we are working with the SCG Trust and FFA to assess its suitability to host our game against Perth in 11 days’ time," he said today.
"All options are on the table, including moving the game, and those discussions are already underway."
Victory today said Antonis would undergo further tests to see the extent of his injury but he would not travel to China for the club's Asian Champions League tie against Guangzhou Evergrande in midweek.