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Brora Rangers chairman full of praise for players and management team

By Ali Morrison

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Brora chairman William Powrie
Brora chairman William Powrie

Brora Rangers chairman William Powrie was fully supportive of the decision of the Scottish Highland League at the weekend to award the Cattach’s their third league title, following the decision to curtail the 2019-2020 campaign.

Reflecting on the truncated campaign he said yesterday: “Manager Steven Mackay deserves great credit for his management of the team, fully supported by the management team of Craig Campbell, David Hind and Mark Mackernie.

“The team engendered a real sense of togetherness within the small squad and were playing attractive, attacking football to increased crowds.

“Whilst we of course would have preferred to win the title after the final whistle of a game had blown, circumstances well beyond our control intervened to prevent this outcome.”

He continued: “I don’t think the early ending of the season diminished our achievement in any way, and I’m so very proud of everybody involved at the club. Ok, it will be a slightly different title, but a title nonetheless.”

The joint decision by the Scottish FA and SPFL to suspend all football matches was the catalyst for the Highland League to make the ground breaking decision in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Lowland and the SPFL leagues are still considering the resolution to their promotion and relegation issues.

Powrie felt that the Highland League showed great leadership in arriving at their decision which was unanimously supported by all the remaining 16 teams.

He reiterated his support for the Annan Athletic chairman Philip Jones who proposed an idea to prevent relegation by extending the Premiership to a 14-team league, with the top two teams from each of the leagues below being promoted.

Such a proposal would involve Brora, and Lowland League pacesetters Kelty Hearts, being automatically elevated to League 2 – thus extending the number of SPFL teams to 44.

With the Cattachs already hopeful of gaining a League 2 berth next term through the pyramid play-offs, Powrie says the Dudgeon Park club would not object to gaining promotion through a league shake-up.

Powrie said: “Our ambition is to get promoted and progress into the next tier of Scottish football.

“Should a scenario come to pass that two teams are promoted to avoid the scenario of relegation, of course we would welcome that.

“It would see us promoted to that next level, and we would be able to test ourselves.

“We would take such an elevator if it was offered to us as a solution, and then we would then have a season to prove our worth.”

Powrie reckons cancelling out relegations but rewarding teams on course for promotion could help to keep a larger number of clubs satisfied.

He added: “Whether you are on the cusp of promotion or relegation, you are going to take a different view about what the potential solution should be.

“We put our faith in those people who are making that decision to come up with the most equitable solution.

“There is certainly some merit in it. I think it would probably put a tick in most people’s boxes.”

On the shutdown he said: “It’s not just the gate money from not playing games we are losing out on, but there’s also hospitality and the knock-on commercial activities we do during a matchday.

“We had our golf day coming up in the not too distant future, and our annual club dinner.”

“It’s not just the here and now, there’s a drip effect for what could be two or three months in advance where we would normally start building up money for next season. The next six months will be very challenging not just for Brora Rangers but for every football club in Scotland.”

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