Franchising In Scotland

In Scotland, the harsh realities of the wrong people getting involved in football clubs has been even more pronounced that it has been in England in recent years. Meadowbank Thistle were unceremoniously moved to Livingston, and several clubs have been left homeless or playing in two-sided grounds because of aborted development projects, but the most convoluted story of all has a particular relevance today, as it involves the financial collapse of two clubs, which led to Gretna FC being voted into the Scottish League in circumstances that are best described as “murky”. Their seemingly imminent collapse provides an apt coda to a story that should bring shame upon the administrators of Scottish football. Clydebank Juniors FC had been stalwarts of the Scottish junior football scene since the end of the nineteenth century, and found their way into the senior game there when they were controversially merged with East Stirlingshire to form ES Clydebank by owners that wanted to cash in on what they perceived as bigger crowds on the outskirts of Glasgow. The club lasted for just one season, 1964/65, before being separated through after a lengthy and messy court case. Clydebank FC were admitted to the Scottish League in their own right in 1967, following the collapse of Third Lanark. They had a fairly unremarkable stay in the Scottish League, but their troubles started in 1996, when their...

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