Ross County’s religious chairman softens on Sunday football

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
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Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor will be at Hampden Park today for one of the biggest games in the club’s history when the Staggies face Hibs in their first-ever League Cup final.

But there was a time when the proud Highland business tycoon would not have even watched the match on television because of his religious principles.

MacGregor, who has invested a sizeable chunk of his personal fortune in developing the Dingwall club to Premiership status, once boycotted a Scottish Cup tie with Rangers because it was being staged on a Sunday.

A member of the Free Church of Scotland, MacGregor refused to go against his convictions when the match was switched from a Saturday to facilitate the demands of Sky TV.

He and his family stayed away from Victoria Park in February 2001 after he decided to put his beliefs first after a great deal of soul searching.

But the 60-year-old has had a change of heart. “I have come to terms with the situation because I live my faith, and the responsibilities I carry with me, in terms of how I behave and react, seven days a week, not just on Sundays.”

But while he is prepared to compromise his principles, MacGregor – head of the Inverness-based Global Energy Group, the company he launched a decade ago and which has an annual turnover in excess of £350m – remains opposed to Sunday football.

He said: “I am still not crazy about it. Saturday is football’s day and I can live with Friday evenings as well. My principal concern is the inconvenience it causes fans. We are asking someone from Skye or Brora, for example, to get on a coach with their family and make a five-hour journey to Glasgow then return home at ten or eleven o’clock at night when they have work and their children have school the following morning.

“The fan is the most important and we endanger the support of season ticket holders at our peril. These guys live and breathe the club.”