Newport County should 'move out of Rodney Parade' - Iwan Roberts

Rodney Parade
Rodney Parade has seen two games abandoned mid-match this season alone

Newport County should move out of Rodney Parade to solve games being called off by bad weather, says former Wales striker Iwan Roberts.

Their League Two game against Morecambe on Saturday was abandoned at half-time because of a waterlogged pitch.

It was the third home game to be abandoned or called off this season.

"In the long run, I think a move away from Rodney Parade would be the best thing for them," Roberts told BBC Radio Wales.

"They won't have this problem then."

The EFL is helping Newport County to sort drainage issues at the venue, having sent a specialist company to the ground to inspect the surface.

Roberts said the situation is "really hurting" the club's attempts to fight their way off the bottom of the division,

"They've only won once at home this season," said Roberts

"In this calendar year, they've played 31 home games at Rodney Parade. They've only won seven. It's hurting them.

"And I know people will say it's the same for both teams. Well, it is, but they've got to play on it every other week - the opposition have got to go there once.

"And as a player it gets into your head: 'What's it going to be like?'."

Roberts says sharing the venue with rugby union teams Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC is part of the problem.

"Any bit of rain with rugby, will cut the pitch up and obviously that's not ideal to play football on."

Newport host Plymouth in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday, 21 December, with the winners visiting Liverpool in the third round on Sunday, 8 January.

The game between the Exiles and Argyle is to be televised, with both clubs receiving £37,000 as a broadcast fee.

The winners of the second-round replay then receive £144,000 in television money for the visit to Anfield, plus a portion of the gate receipt funds.

However, if the second-round replay is washed out, it is unlikely the replay will be staged in time to allow the third-round clash to take place on the correct date, meaning the clubs would lose the TV revenue.

Rodney Parade
Ground staff try and make the Rodney Parade pitch playable

County have had two games - against Morecambe and Barnet - abandoned at half-time in 2016-17 while their League two encounter with Stevenage was also postponed on 1 October.

The Exiles are tenants at the ground, which is owned by Rodney Parade Limited and the club signed a 10-year lease to use Rodney Parade in 2013.

The Exiles have had problems with the pitch since 2013. Last season their then-manager John Sheridan criticised the club when an FA Cup third round clash with Blackburn fell foul to the weather.

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