ANN BUDGE, the Hearts owner, yesterday confirmed the club will lay a new pitch this summer - with a £1million hybrid surface the preference.

The existing turf was only put down a year ago at a six-figure cost but is already showing extensive signs of wear and tear, and any sustained period of rainfall makes underfoot conditions difficult for the players.

This was evident during the recent Premiership match against St Johnstone, with manager Craig Levein saying afterwards: “When it’s really wet, it’s really bad it was really poor on Saturday, the players were slipping all over the place.”

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Despite costs for the new main stand soaring to £15 million, the club are keen to install a hybrid surface, which uses natural grass intertwined with artificial turf fibres.

Budge said: "I am pleased to announce that plans to relay the pitch in the summer have been approved by the board of directors.

“This will allow us to completely rip up the turf and the soil beneath it, something that hasn’t been done in nearly 20 years.

“This will represent another major financial commitment by the club but we believe it to be an essential investment that will benefit the team for years to come.”

The Scotland rugby team already benefit from using a hybrid surface at neighbouring Murrayfield stadium, which Hearts used for four games earlier this season while Tynecastle was being redeveloped.

The SRU paid an estimated £1.25 million to lay the pitch in 2014.

English football sides Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all use a similar surface.

As will Celtic next season as well at a cost of £2m.