Gretna given place in the East of Scotland League

GRETNA were last night admitted to the East of Scotland League although the club has no connection with the outfit currently in the hands of the administrators after resigning their SFL membership less than two months ago.

The new club is called Gretna FC 2008 Ltd and is a Trust-owned football club run by the Gretna Supporters Society.

Anton Hodge, the secretary of the Gretna Supporters Society, who presented his club's case for admission to the East of Scotland Football League at an Extraordinary General Meeting held at Tynecastle Park, was delighted with the outcome.

"We are obviously a new club carrying on the traditions of the old club and there is no connection with the old club other than the similarity in name," said Hodge. "However, hopefully we will get back to playing at Raydale Park in the near future although that is in the hands of the administrators.

"Raydale Park is up for sale and there is a hope that Dumfries and Galloway Council will buy it and then the new club will be able to play there again."

In the meantime, Gretna FC 2008 Ltd will play their home games in Annan, at Everholm Stadium which is only a stone's throw from where Annan Athletic, who, ironically, replaced Gretna in the SFL, play their home games at Galabank.

"We have some confidence that we will get back to Raydale. We have appointed a manager, Stuart Rome, who used to play for Gretna and was also manager of Workington Reds. He has already assembled a squad of very good players.

"This is all fantastic news for football supporters in Gretna, who have been fundraising for this new club over the past few months. A business plan has been put together to ensure that the new club is financially sustainable."

John Greenhorn, the secretary of East of Scotland Football League, said: "The admission of the new Gretna football club is subject to SFA approval which we will be seeking immediately."

The admission of Gretna to the Tyreman First Division meant that there would have been 11 teams in the Premier Division and 13 in the lower league. A vote by the member clubs resulted in a preferred split of 12 and 12 so Selkirk, who finished second bottom of the Premier last season, will not now be relegated.

The new East Seniors season will start on Saturday, August 9.