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Allett’s electric day at Twickenham

Allett Mowers invited industry leaders to Twickenham Rugby Stadium on May 14th to showcase the new Allett C34E battery powered mower and hold informal talks on sustainability. Attendance at the venue represented football, rugby, cricket, Royal Households, Oxford and Cambridge University colleges and dealers. Austin Jarrett, Allett’s Managing Director, gave a talk on the company’s battery machine strategy and the technology behind battery electric power helping to drive the future for professionals. He emphasised the health and safety benefits of non-particulate power and sustainability with zero emissions at the point of use, low noise, low vibrations and minimum maintenance.
Twickenham Rugby Stadium’s Head Groundsman, Keith Kent, talked about how he maintains a world class pitch, providing the same standards whatever the use, be it international rugby, leisure events or even schools tournaments. The third speaker, sustainability expert Professor David Stubbs, presented on the challenges in the industry, using a case study of the London 2012 Olympic Games. His talk embraced climate change and how sport can help address major global ecological problems.
The talks were followed by pitchside demonstrations with everyone allowed access to the hallowed turf and a very green pitch in bright sunlight. The Allett C34E was exceptionally well received with its battery packs and futuristic looks combined with the tradition and heritage of the Allett cylinder mower. Since it was first seen at Saltex 2018 Allett have spent the months in trials and further developments, to bring the mower to the stage where it is ready to go into production. Powered by the latest Lithium-ion system battery technology, the C34E has a new chassis design while maintaining compatibility with Allett’s renowned turf maintenance system. The mower has plenty of power to drive the interchangeable cartridges for powered raking, aerating and brushing. Delegates were shown that, just like its petrol counterparts, the C34E gives an impeccable cut and lays down Allett’s hallmark stripes.
Austin Jarrett says: “We’ll be using the debate and feedback from the customers to form part of Allett decision making and future planning in our battery machine strategy. The industry is rapidly changing and while we aim to be at the forefront we will only be launching twenty C34E this year. When a customer buys one of the first 20 machines we will work with them and their dealer on any developments of the machine before we go into mass production next year. They will become an Allett Pioneer Programme member and attend focus groups and factory visits and will also get exclusive Pioneer merchandise.” The consensus after the meeting was general agreement the industry is quickly learning about sustainability and recognising the need to gain greater momentum in the face of climate change.


Book now for STRI Research 2019

STRI Group has announced that its annual research open days will take place on 25 and 26 September 2019.
The event, which takes place at STRI’s UK research and development facility in Bingley, West Yorkshire, offers an opportunity for sport facility managers, owners, groundstaff and greenkeepers to learn about and discuss the development of the latest products and technology for the sportsturf industry.
Dr Christian Spring, research operations manager, said: “STRI Research Days are an excellent way to gain insight into the latest developments and thinking on tackling current and future turf management issues.
“STRI Research Days offer turf managers a unique opportunity to network with, not only fellow turf managers, but to view and discuss the latest developments in turf maintenance with turfgrass scientists and industry professionals. This is reflected in feedback from previous events, where those attending have valued learning about what is new and upcoming in our industry and to have an opportunity to discuss these ideas.”
Delegates will be taken on a tour around a range of live research stations by an STRI staff member. At each station, there will be a joint presentation on the research being undertaken delivered by a member of STRI’s research team and representatives from the sponsor company. There will be time at the end of each presentation for delegates to ask questions.
STRI Research 2019 attendees can look forward to a freshly prepared breakfast, lunch and refreshments at no additional cost, as well catching up with fellow sport industry professionals. A limited number of discounted rooms are available and will be provided on a first come, first-serve basis.


Scottish football declared ‘fully fit’ – no clubs showing signs of distress as match attendances rise

None of Scotland’s league football clubs are showing serious signals of financial distress, and average attendances are also on the rise, according to football finance experts who report annually on key indicators of business distress in the game.
The annual Football Distress Report by corporate insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor has found that for the first time since the report began in April 2012, none of the 42 clubs that make up the first four divisions of Scottish football are currently showing signs of serious distress, down from a peak of four clubs in 2012 and 2013.
The Scottish Premiership saw a 1% rise in average attendances to just over 16,000 on average, the highest figures recorded since the survey began. A 7% rise in average Scottish Championship gates to 3,090 was countered by falls in average gates in League 1 and League 2. Overall, attendances have risen by close to 17% since the 2011/2012 season.
“We’re a long way from the days of Rangers’ 2012 failure when a clutch of clubs were teetering on the brink, with a bleak future and out of control finances. In contrast, sensible spending, mature business decisions and careful prudent planning across the sport have created a very different scenario today,” commented Ken Pattullo who leads Begbies Traynor in Scotland.
“The huge waves caused by Rangers’ administration and subsequent journey through the tables have now settled down, and to some degree have contributed to benefiting and stabilising other clubs. We’re now seeing average gates across all the four divisions around 17% higher than at the end of the 2012 season, although these additional fans are predictably headed to the Premiership and Championship matches.
“To say we won’t ever see a club get into trouble again is impossible, but just five years ago we would have said another big failure was probably not unlikely, and the efforts of the clubs have put Scottish football into a far better place in a relatively short period.”
By contrast, there has been a sharp rise in football club distress in the English Leagues, with six clubs showing signs of distress, up from just one club 12 months ago.
Mr Pattullo adds: “The huge gulf in TV monies across the four English leagues are a big factor in these clubs’ distress, where relegation and promotion can be almost a matter of financial life and death for the club unless boards plan carefully. The lower TV revenues in Scotland, although unwelcome, do result in more predictable incomes and reduce the temptation to gamble heavily on personnel investments that threaten to cripple English clubs that miss the cut.
“The fact that distress is effectively nil in Scotland’s clubs is further evidence that, financially at least, the worst is behind for the sport. A few years ago, it was rare for months to go by without headlines of failing football clubs and administrations, but despite some tough times high-profile failures are far more common now among high-street retailers.”

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