'A great shame' - Portman Road won't host county cup finals due to pitch renovations

Fans at Portman Road ranked low for both banning orders and arrests Picture: MARK HEATH

Portman Road won't host any Suffolk County Cup finals this year due to renovations - Credit: Archant

Portman Road won't host any Suffolk County Cup finals this season because of renovations to the pitch, it has emerged.

Suffolk FA had hoped to stage some of their 2020/21 finals at Town's famous ground in front of fans, but changes to the pitch renovation plans under the club's new owners mean that now won't be possible.

The games will instead be staged at local non-league grounds. 

Richard Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk FA, said: “On March 9th, we announced our intention to complete the 2020-21 Suffolk County Cups which we had already begun, either by the end of the current season or the start of the next.

“Indeed, whilst we were not able to offer any promises over how many and which finals might be included, there was hope at that stage of playing some of the finals in front of spectators at Portman Road towards the end of May, depending on government guidance and a number of other factors falling into place.

“There have been a number of changes at Ipswich Town FC since those positive discussions were being held.

General view of the ground before the Sky Bet Championship match at Portman Road, Ipswich. PRESS ASS

The Portman Road pitch will be undergoing renovations this summer - Credit: PA

"A change of ownership has led to amendments to the Portman Road pitch renovation plans and therefore the stadium was not available to host any 2020-21 Suffolk County Cup Finals; a great shame as having the opportunity to host even a limited number of finals as we have done in previous years would have offered a significant silver lining to a season of dark clouds.

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“We are working on a schedule of concluding the county cup competitions but with finals being played at local grounds.

"Whilst I appreciate the chance of playing at Portman Road may have provided special motivation for players and club officials alike, the prospect of holding a county trophy aloft is still very close.”

AFC Sudbury are to host both the Rushmere Golf Club Suffolk Sunday Cup Final and the HomeStore Self Storage Suffolk Women’s Cup Final on Sunday, May 30th.

The Sunday Cup Final will kick-off at 2pm, with the Women’s Cup Final following at 5pm.

The Portable Space Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup Final will be played at Bungay Town FC on Saturday, May 29th with a 2.30pm kick off.

Ticket details for all the above matches will be announced shortly.