Sutton United chairman Bruce Elliott reckons it is a matter of when, not if, 3G pitches are permitted in the Conference and Football League.

His verdict comes after the FA allowed the third generation artificial surfaces to be used in all rounds of the FA Cup from next season.

For now, both the Conference and Football League have refused to permit 3G.

Elliott, who was part of the United consortium that forced an ultimately unsuccessful vote on 3G into the Conference AGM in January, said: “There has been a lot of pressure on the FA, and the Maidstone saga has brought it to the fore. But we’re pleased.

“There are a lot of clubs looking seriously at 3Gs and the FA have recognised that.

“It is inevitable that we will end up getting permission for 3G at Conference level, it is when, not if.”

Carshalton Athletic owner Paul Dipre who had an application to install a 3G pitch at Colston Avenue rejected by the council, said: “The decision was inevitable, and the Conference’s refusal to allow 3G is untenable.

“It is stopping non-League clubs being financially sustainable and having facilities that can serve the community.”

He added: “Non-League is being held back by those who don't care about the game, just their own perspectives.”