Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Brechin worry over Rangers SFA tie

Brechin City's financial structure for the upcoming season could be thrown into disarray if their Ramsden's Cup tie with Rangers is called off, the club's vice-chairman Martin Smith has warned.

Charles Green's newco Rangers are still awaiting their Scottish Football Association licence to allow them to compete in SFA tournaments, with the start of the new season just days away.

Brechin are due to host Rangers at Glebe Park on Sunday in front of the TV cameras but there is constant uncertainty surrounding the fixture due to the hold up in the licence being granted.

Smith told Press Association Sport that Brechin are preparing as normal for any upcoming home match but that the thought of Rangers not travelling to Glebe Park has been troubling him.

"I've been having sleepless nights and everyday I wake up expecting a phone call or text message saying they have the licence and we can play," he said.

"We are going on the assumption that the game will go ahead. If we have bad weather sometimes and we are fighting against frost and snow forecast for a Saturday we still make the right preparations and this is no different. Everything has been put in place."

Smith also believes the financial implications of Rangers not being in the top flight, coupled with the possible cancellation of this weekend's cup tie, would mean this Brechin's budget for the season take a hit.

"We got the Armageddon scenario from Neil Doncaster not so long ago whereby if Sky pull the plug completely and put SPL and SFL clubs in danger," he said. "That would see a big change in our circumstances because that is money we would get at the end of the season and it wouldn't be there anymore so we would cut our cloth to fit.

"On that basis we thought the Rangers game coming up would help to fill the gap if that were to happen and also if the Rangers game weren't to go ahead we would have to find ways to get around that.

"We have not done the budget yet for this year but obviously with the Rangers game in mind we could have a great start to the season.

"We have sold more season tickets and that allied with the money coming from Rangers game and the coverage from Alba television would make a huge difference."

The Hedgemen go into the new campaign a league above Rangers in the Irn-Bru Division Two but Smith reckons the cup fixture could still be Brechin's biggest game on and off the pitch this season.

He said:"The fact is that we sold our tickets out last night in 45 minutes. Rangers did the same thing at Ibrox on Monday during the day, the game is a complete and utter sell-out.

"We have also sold all of our sponsorship packages and everything is in place, we have lots of sponsors coming and it is all set up for a wonderful day here in Brechin...as long as Rangers get a licence."

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