The Battle To Save Cowdenbeath

Central Park, Cowdenbeath, is one of those old grounds with a bit of what they like to call “character”. Terracing surrounds the ground on three sides, set well back and a little above the pitch, while the fourth side houses the two-part main stand, half of it the old shed and half a newer stand where the older one was fire-damaged sometime in the 90s. A row of floodlight pylons sits in front of the stand to obscure the view. It’s not the most modern of stadia, but at least it’s not one of your modern boxes. It’s also the only ground I know of to retain its perimeter fencing – not, of course, to prevent the few hundred hardy supporters from encroaching onto the pitch, but for protecting the next batch of spectators from the stock cars that ply their trade on the track that separates the pitch from the terrace, later on in the Saturday evening. The stock cars have long been a bigger money-spinner than the football club and for many years, under the mostly successful chairmanship of Gordon McDougall, everyone seemed happy to allow the one to subsidise the other Recent developments, however, have brought the football club’s unsustainability to a head. McDougall left in 2008, subsequently sueing the club for unpaid consultancy fees; his son-in-law Brian Welsh also won a costly unfair dismissal case...

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