Jonathan Calderwood is the Head Grounds Manager at Parc de Princes, home arena to football club Paris Saint Germain (PSG). Jonathan knows all about creating and maintaining the perfect lawn – and the importance of doing so.
“The pitch is the first thing that the fans see when they enter the stadium and it’s the first thing the players complain about if they lose a match. And since non-football events are important for the return of investment of a stadium, the quality of the pitch is important in that perspective as well. In other words: the pitch is a vital business asset,” says Jonathan.
Jonathan’s position means that he decides how the pitch is to be cared for and maintained, when it may be used and by whom. In other words, it isn’t the trainer or the manager who decides whether Ibrahimovic, Cavani and Thiago are allowed out on the field – it’s the Head Grounds Manager who’s in charge.
Prior to being headhunted for PSG, Jonathan worked for many years as Grounds Manager for Aston Villa in the English Premier League. While there, he was crowned English Premier League Groundsman of the year in both 2009 and 2012. Jonathan is also chairman of the ESSMA(European Stadium & Safety Management Association) expert group on pitch management, whose mission is to support stadiums and their groundsmen with experience and knowhow.