STEVEN GERRARD reckons Scottish football is putting players’ careers and livelihoods at stake by allowing plastic pitches to be used in the Premiership.

A petition from PFA Scotland this week revealed the depth of feeling against artificial surfaces as players from nine out of the 12 top flight clubs called for them to be banned.

Kilmarnock, Livingston and Hamilton Accies all use plastic parks and no move has yet been made by any club that would see a change in the Hampden rulebook.

Rangers winger Jamie Murphy suffered a season-ending knee injury at Rugby Park back in August and Gerrard has been a vocal critic of Astroturf in recent months.

Now the Ibrox boss has called on the governing body to take players’ concerns into account and consider the bigger picture of the impact non-grass pitches are having on the game.

Gerrard said: “I hated them. Your body just reacts differently to them.

“Your joints ache for longer, your muscles are tired for longer. You can’t play your normal game, that you’ve been coached all your life.

“The ball doesn’t run true, it doesn’t bounce true. Games are not as good to watch on plastic pitches. In your mind, you think of the Jamie Murphy incident.

“You think of your family. Not all players are able to say, ‘I’m financially secure. My wife and my family are safe’.

“These are people’s lives, where they’ve got to survive and pay bills and support their families, yet you know that at any given moment you could be wiped out for a full season – and there are no guarantees for being out of football for a full season, how your career is going to pan out.

“All I ask is that owners and governing bodies think about people’s families and people’s bodies. I know because I played on them because they’re not safe.

“The worst I’ve ever walked on was Kilmarnock’s. I’ve never played on a good surface and I’ve played on all the latest ones and they’re all awful in my opinion.

“To be fair to the MLS ones, they’re amongst the newer ones, so I suppose they’re safer than the older ones, but I just don’t like them. It opens a debate because people say, ‘Why is Steven Gerrard talking about injuries and bodies and blah, blah, blah.’

“But it’s my opinion. I’ve played on them, I’ve coached on them, I’ve had one of my key players suffer a major injury on them and he’s missed a full season.

“I know and believe that if you asked Hamilton’s players, Kilmarnock’s players and Livingston’s players, would they rather play on grass or Astroturf – if their owners weren’t there I think you’d get a clean sweep.”