Farewell Gretna?

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StAndrewsHMFC
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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:05 pm

On looking closer maybe they wouldn't have got many more fans as the Rangers game actually had a bigger attendance than the Celtic game played at the weekend

lbb
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Post by lbb » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:08 am

Lisbon67 wrote:Charming! Maybe Gretna should have told a certain other SPL side to GTF when they were begging for a postponement before the Lyons game.
They should have done. Though, as StAndrews points out, it's difficult to argue that they lost out financially as a result. They should still have told Rangers to go to Hell when asking for postponement - as Aberdeen should with them. And as the SPL should to bring this embarrassing situation to an end.

They were nearly wetting themselves on Sky Sports News yesterday discussing Gretna's situation. Nice boost for our international standing, then.

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Post by Burnie_man » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:51 pm

Gretna game goes ahead tomorrow and so should the Celtic game the week after.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:27 pm

The cash from the Celtic game should get them to the end of the season I would think. All their other fixtures including post-split will be very poorly attended - except, perhaps, their last when souvenir hunters and programme collectors will make their way to Fir Park.

It's what happens next that is still unclear.

lbb
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Post by lbb » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:13 am

That assumes the Celtic match goes ahead. I fell asleep on Saturday afternoon and woke up to Radio Scotland telling me that Fir Park was being shut for a month (whit? can Motherwell actually do this?) and Gretna will need to find somewhere else to play their games in the meantime.

As I understand it, as I write on Monday morning, it's by no means certain if Gretna v Celtic will go ahead and, if it does, where it will take place.

I've known schoolboy leagues to be better organised than this.

upthewell
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Post by upthewell » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:52 am

I can see the Gretna v Celtic game becoming a Celtic v Gretna game - with a big revenue share in place for Gretna.

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Post by nightfire » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:58 am

upthewell wrote:I can see the Gretna v Celtic game becoming a Celtic v Gretna game - with a big revenue share in place for Gretna.
Great for Gretna but is it fair on other SPL clubs that Celtic get to an extra home game. In saying that, Celtic's home form of late has been average so maybe it would be better to play at a neutral venue.

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Post by Ramalhete » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:38 pm

According to BBC, the next two home games from Gretna will be played at Almondvale. This must be another blow for Gretna as Fir Park is bigger than Almondvale and Celtic is the next home game.

upthewell
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Post by upthewell » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:15 pm

Ramalhete wrote:According to BBC, the next two home games from Gretna will be played at Almondvale. This must be another blow for Gretna as Fir Park is bigger than Almondvale and Celtic is the next home game.
Don't think it will make that much of a difference as Celtic haven't been taking as many fans to Fir Park as they did 5 or 6 years ago. Wonder what Almondvale's owners are charging them?

And I wonder where John Boyle will have us playing? The New Shyberry Exelsior Broomfield?

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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:55 am

Although it'll help Motherwells pitch I'm not sure how this will help Gretna. fans that couldn't make it to Motherwell won't go to Livingston. Time for some thinking outside the box and maybe Carlisle? Or would this technically be taking the SPL abroad and impinging on the english market?

I think John Boyle is making a massive mistake throwing away home advantage. Admittedly its been a while since I've been to Fir Park, but in a tight european race home games could be crucial. Instead Well will end up playing neutral games. Could cost well a fair bit of cash

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Post by lbb » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:15 am

StAndrewsHMFC wrote: I think John Boyle is making a massive mistake throwing away home advantage. Admittedly its been a while since I've been to Fir Park, but in a tight european race home games could be crucial. Instead Well will end up playing neutral games. Could cost well a fair bit of cash
I also wonder how it leaves those SPL sides who did play at Fir Park when it wasn't in the best of conditions. I'm not sure who is still to play at Fir Park - against Motherwell or Gretna - but they're bound to be in competition, one way or another, with teams that have either fought to gain points at Fir Park or, even worse, lost them. Now, they discover that their rivals won't have to go to a difficult venue in difficult conditions after all. How does that work?

This also benefits Motherwell. A big factor in their good form this season has been their style of football which needs a good surface. Undoubtedly, they have suffered bad results as a result of the pitch. However, they should not be allowed to then switch home games halfway through a season because of this.

In my view, rather than throwing away an advantage, he's seeking to gain one. I must stop being so cynical. :wink: I was amazed at how relaxed the BBC folk were with Boyle's plan to shut down Fir Park because the pitch was muddy.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:19 pm

Let's get one thing straight. There is no 'huge' fixture backlog as the press are suggesting. Hark at Lex Gold: ""This is the most difficult and unprecedented fixture situation that we have faced"

FFS the SPL is FIVE games shy of its scheduled total - three at Fir Park (and only one of those is a Gretna match) and one each at Love Street and Celtic Park. At the time of writing (i.e. before scheduled games tonight) the 3rd division is SIX games short of where it should be yet there's no bleating going on there.

Whatever else they might have done the Fir Park problem is not down to Gretna. For decades every ground was used twice a week - first team one week, reserves the next - so there must be something seriously wrong with Fir Park for it to resemble a 21st century Boghead. Even today - with reserve games usually played well away from the main ground some grounds are playing far in excess of the scheduled league minimum without much of a problem. Ibrox will host 30 games this season. Assuming it gets both Scottish Cup semi-finals Hampden will have at least 32.

Boyle's motives? Motherwell will finish in the top six. That guarantees them a home game v Celtic. They also have outstanding home games v Rangers and Celtic. These are precisely the kind of games OF fans will turn out for in numbers. Rugby Park holds almost 5,000 more than Fir Park. Okay, call me a cynic. But we are talking about a guy who managed to take his club into administration, owing millions, yet somehow wangled his way back to being club chairman and doesn't exactly look like he's had to buy his suits from Oxfam in the meantime.

As for Gretna playing at Livingston, what was wrong with Love Street? There is no game there this weekend. In terms of Gretna fans travelling I don't think it makes much difference. If you're prepared to go to Motherwell then anywhere else in the central belt doesn't really change things. But a lot more Celtic fans would have gone to Paisley than will go to Livingston.

One final carp at the press comment over the whole business. Guys like Traynor (who should know better) and Broadfoot (of whom you couldn't really expect anything else) should read rulebooks from start to finish before pronouncing on what happens in the event of a club folding. They wouldn't look so stupid afterwards. And somebody should tell Graeme Macpherson in today's Herald that Burnden Park might have been a decent enough ground in its day but there are two good reasons why it won't do as a temporary home for Gretna - one, it's in Bolton, not Carlisle and secondly it's now an Asda.

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Post by upthewell » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:31 pm

I really don't think that John Boyle is going to get anywhere near 5000 extra OF punters through the turnstiles at Rugby Park as he would get at Fir Park.

Especially with the disgruntled nature that the Celtic fans are developing.

He'd also have a lot less pay at the gate Well fans turning up as the game wouldn't be on the doorstep.

Finally - he'll also have rental charges to pay for the ground he chooses.

If it's a money spinner I thin it'll be a small one - and not of the nature of 5000 x £20.

But aye - I take your point - his suit collection's dapperness didn't decrease between 2002 and late 2007 when he rejoined the board....

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Post by Scottish » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:38 pm

Also the expense of bussing 'Well fans to and from the temporary ground. That does go without saying, doesn't it?

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Post by lbb » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:28 am

There does seem to be an element of hysteria about the fixture 'backlog'. I think the Mighty Gers blitzkrieg through Europe is the problem on their part. No midweeks. I was slightly annoyed at Setanta boss Colin Davidson's comments that the problem, such as it is, all stemmed from the Gretna-Rangers match in December being postponed. That match was played 2 months ago - whereas the St.Mirren-Rangers game, cancelled for Scotland's World Cup preparations, hasn't.

I can only agree about your comment the ignorance of the rules. The amount of idle speculation, plain stupidity and outright tosh on the SPL in general, and rules in particular, from the likes of Traynor and Leckie is breathtaking.

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