Lothian Thistle look to Easter Road for Celtic tie

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale say they could not stage a possible cup tie with Celtic at Saughton Enclosure. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale say they could not stage a possible cup tie with Celtic at Saughton Enclosure. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
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  • Minnows set to cash in on lucrative tie
  • EK consider erecting additional stands
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Non-league sides East Kilbride and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale are split over where to stage a lucrative meeting with Celtic in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.

The champions have been drawn away against the winners of the minnows’ rearranged fourth-round tie, which takes place next Wednesday.

We couldn’t play at Saughton Enclosure. We get on well with the people at Easter Road

Tom Allison

Lothian have said they would have to find an alternative venue to their current Saughton Enclosure ground, with Easter Road the likely favoured option. But East Kilbride are keen to bring Celtic to their tiny K Park home.

The money on offer for a clash which would likely be televised would be of significant value to the victor, but both clubs know that the fourth round tie is the most important.

Tom Allison, chairman of East of Scotland Premier League side Lothian, told BBC Scotland: “We have to keep our feet on the ground and say next Wednesday’s game is the most important.

“We couldn’t play at Saughton Enclosure [against Celtic], so we’d need to find another venue but I see Hearts are playing Hibs that weekend.

“We get on well with the people at Easter Road and there’s always Falkirk or Livingston.”

East Kilbride chairman Mark Horner still harbours hope of bringing Celtic to K Park.

The capacity of the Lowland League ground is around 500 and Horner will look to double it for the visit of the Glasgow side if they beat Lothian.

He said: “It is a dream tie for both clubs. We have had slight discussions with what would happen if we drew a big team – although I didn’t think it was as big as this – and we will be trying our best to make it go ahead there.

“You can’t buy history and that is the way we are looking at it.

“Right now we have a capacity of 500 but we have looked at putting stands in, we will be taking advice.

“It is a realistic ambition, very much so. I am not sure what the capacity could go up to, that will be down to health and safety and the authorities but near enough 1,000.”