Farewell Gretna?

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lbb
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Farewell Gretna?

Post by lbb » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:12 pm

From a post on another forum yesterday:

1. Davie Irons is the new Morton manager taking Derek Collins with him as his assistant!
2. Mick Wadsworth (GFC Director of Football) has accepted a job with the Canadian Football Association!
3. Gretna Football Club will go into Administration on Wednesday 20th February, 2008!

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Post by Scottish » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:42 pm

1. True. This has been announced by Morton this morning.

2. Rumour and speculation about Wadsworth being in Canada for an interview but no apparent substance. According to the PA Wadsworth will take charge of Gretna along with Iain Scott and Andy Smith for the time being.

3. We'll see. The non-payment may be down to the serious illness of Brooks Mileson. Administration? A ten-point penalty and guaranteed relegation. I would have thought they'd want to wait until after the Kilmarnock match on Feb 27th before taking this step.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:54 pm

scottish wrote:2. Rumour and speculation about Wadsworth being in Canada for an interview but no apparent substance. According to the PA Wadsworth will take charge of Gretna along with Iain Scott and Andy Smith for the time being.
Wadsworth himself is quoted in the press today admitting he has been for an interview with the Canadian FA. I'd say that's plenty of substance. Not to say he's actually going to get the job of course.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:12 pm

Skyline Drifter wrote: Wadsworth himself is quoted in the press today admitting he has been for an interview with the Canadian FA. I'd say that's plenty of substance. Not to say he's actually going to get the job of course.
That's why I use words like 'apparent' in connection with the Canadian job. If he was certain of going to Canada it's more likely he'd be making flight plans rather than trying to skipper a sinking ship.

The admin thing puzzles me. The rumour mill is working overtime at Gretna. But in eight days time they could be just six points from safety with a game in hand, their nearest rivals to play again post-split and 'winnable' matches v Dundee Utd, ICT & St Mirren coming up before the split.

OTOH they could be fifteen points behind come a week on Wednesday and dead in the water.

Surely, THAT would be the time to go into administration?

To do so beforehand would suggest the situation is even more serious and possibly a threat to the club's very existence, not just their place in the SPL.

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Post by lbb » Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:05 pm

scottish wrote:To do so beforehand would suggest the situation is even more serious and possibly a threat to the club's very existence, not just their place in the SPL.
No supporters, no ground (have they done anything to Raydale?), no hope of staying in the SPL (even if they survive by points won't the ground rule work against them?), sole owner in serious health - how serious does it need to be?

They'll find a comfortable level, perhaps, in the Second or Third Division but only after a lot of problems.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:13 pm

lbb wrote: (even if they survive by points won't the ground rule work against them?), sole owner in serious health - how serious does it need to be?.
Imagine the furore if the SPL try to relegate a club which has survived on merit? They've changed their rules before to meet the circumstances and would so do again.

What I mean by serious is that if they go into administration while they still have a chance of staying up it suggests to me that it's not relegation that's worrying them but the survival of the club could be at stake.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:02 pm

I've no idea whether there's any truth in rumours of impending administration or not, though I do know locally that officials have denied it.

However, it's an absolute given that without Mileson there's no Gretna, certainly not at any level above division three. Of course the survival of the club is at stake. If he hasn't put in sufficient advance funds to tide them over when he's taken ill for a week or two (and let's face it it was hardly unforeseen) then they're screwed the minute he's unavailable. They can't possibly meet contract obligations.

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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:07 pm

Skyline Drifter wrote:However, it's an absolute given that without Mileson there's no Gretna, certainly not at any level above division three. Of course the survival of the club is at stake. If he hasn't put in sufficient advance funds to tide them over when he's taken ill for a week or two (and let's face it it was hardly unforeseen) then they're screwed the minute he's unavailable. They can't possibly meet contract obligations.
Thats always been the Gretna conumdrum, what happens when Mileson leaves (for whatever reason). They are a club that is unsustainable in the 1st I'd imagine let alone the premier. It might be in a funny way good that this wake-up call has come along, perhaps now the people in charge will realise that in the long-term building a 6,000 all seater stadium in Gretna, would be a massive mistake. It'd be like having an amatuer team playing in the 50,000 national stadium every second week.

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Post by Ramalhete » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:29 pm

In England, Brooks Mileson established a trust to sponsor the Northern League during his and his son’s lives. Maybe he can do the same here in Scotland for Gretna. If they forget the SPL and the new stadium, with some support from Mr. Mileson they can find a place in the first or second division of the SFL.

When did Brooks Mileson start to be involved with Gretna? I think he wasn't around the club when they were elected to SFL.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:54 pm

Ramalhete wrote:When did Brooks Mileson start to be involved with Gretna? I think he wasn't around the club when they were elected to SFL.
They completed their first season in the SFL Mileson-less. I believe he arrived in the summer between their first and second seasons.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:11 am

I suspect tonight's defeat means administration at least for Gretna as any realistic chance of staying up has now gone and they might as well take the ten-point penalty now rather than face sanctions next season.

Alarmingly though there is speculation that they may even have to fold. What the knock-on effects of that are it's difficult to say at this stage. Last time this happened - Airdrieonians - the clubs finishing 9th in the 1st and 2nd divisions were reprieved. Now though play-offs are in place. I'd imagine - if Gretna do go bust - the easiest way is to scrap the play-off finals. Allowing both semi-final winners to either win promotion/avoid relegation and adding another club to the 3rd division would keep the numbers right.

It would also be yet another escape for East Stirling should they finish bottom of the Third yet again.

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Post by lbb » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:14 am

What was being talked about on RS last night wasn't so much administration, and the 10-point penalty, but liquidation. Seems to be real doubt whether they'll finish the season. The points picked up against Gretna, in that scenario, will be removed from your total. I think this is a deeply unsatisfactory situation though I have little confidence that the SPL will handle it appropriately. Quite simply, everything must be done to allow them to finish their fixtures then, to be blunt, it's someone else's problem.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:25 am

lbb wrote: Quite simply, everything must be done to allow them to finish their fixtures then, to be blunt, it's someone else's problem.
I see you've done the maths on how it would affect the top of the table :D

Dundee United would benefit the most if Gretna folded and ironically their landlords would fare worst. From being a point behind Motherwell and only two goals better off United would be five points ahead and seven goals to the good. Motherwell would still have two games in hand. That would be the only positional change if Gretna's record was expunged.

Celtic would be just a point behind Rangers though the Gers would have a game in hand but instead of being level on goal difference Celtic would be three goals to the good.

Hibs wouldn't have much of a cushion over Falkirk and Hearts in the fight for the top six - a point ahead of both instead of four and five as they are now. Falkirk would be in sixth by a single goal. Aberdeen would be a point behind that but with two more games played than Hibs and one more than Falkirk and Hearts

Inverness would be closer to the bottom. Killie and St Mirren would be level on points but Kilmarnock would have a 15-goal advantage and played the same number of games whereas now they are a point ahead but played two more.

That is, of course, if I'm any good at sums!

Hard to see where the cash is going to come from for Gretna to keep going. They got a boost last week when 1,400 Kilmarnock fans turned up midweek - far more than expected. They still have Celtic to play. But their other fixtures aren't promising. St Mirren on a Tuesday night & Inverness before the split. After that they should have just two more 'home' games against two from St Mirren, Aberdeen & Hearts based on the current table. As they only drew 1730 v the Dons and 1544 against the Jambos earlier in the season prospects for decent gates don't look good even if they shouldn't fall as low as last night.

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Post by lbb » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:35 am

scottish wrote: I see you've done the maths on how it would affect the top of the table :D
Self-interest is good enough for the clubs. :D
scottish wrote:Celtic would be just a point behind Rangers though the Gers would have a game in hand but instead of being level on goal difference Celtic would be three goals to the good.


This is just mental, though. We have a crazy enough league playing some teams 3 times away from home and others 3 times at home without playing some teams 3 times and some teams twice and then having the results removed anyway. :?

There is an element of the title race ending up in the European Court of Human Rights, I admit, but the credibility of the league is also at stake here, for all teams.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:51 am

lbb wrote: This is just mental, though. We have a crazy enough league playing some teams 3 times away from home and others 3 times at home without playing some teams 3 times and some teams twice and then having the results removed anyway. :?
Excellent point. I said much the same when looking at the proposed English '39th step.' We've had at least one - and often two - asymmetrical divisions in Scotland since 1976 with the exceptions of 1994-2000.

As far as the top of the table goes then while it favours Celtic just now if Gretna fold it would also favour them if they played them and won by four goals or more. But at least then both OF clubs would have played them three times.

Either way if this season's title goes down to goal difference there's a grievance for both OF clubs. But not anywhere near as big a one as Motherwell.

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