As I understood it, Ronnie, I thought that you were the first Trust representative on the BOD ? Certainly the Club owes an immense debt to Lew and Frank when they stepped into the breech (on the BOD) in November 2005, indeed the latter`s experience, of finance in general and Albion Rovers finances in particular should still be made use of. Sadly - again head ruling heart - I cannot see where funding would come from to refurbish the stadium....unless...listed building status ?...maybe funding available that way. Still even that could take years to evolve and even then the funding authorities may not want to support a sporting/commercial operation.
I understand your points Grant re refurbishing the stadium but I can't think of a suitable site in Coatbridge where we could play league football. If there is let me know. Also if we moved we would either have to upgrade an existing site or build a new small stadium facility. And I doubt a sale of Cliftonhill would raise enough to do either. I have looked into various grant bodies etc but it seems it is easier to get funds to do up a Perthshire mansion than an historic sporting venue! Will keep trying to see if there is a suitable funding stream and of course the club with its band of volunteers will endeavour to do its best to keep Cliftonhill certificate and licence compliant for as long as possible.
Kirkwood Sports Barn was the closest we have come to feasible move. It was to be a community stadium which would have meant council funding part of it and Cliftonhill being developed into Social housing. The 2008 Financial crisis put paid to that unfortunately.
I’ve mentioned this before (haven’t checked if it would be even possible or if it’s been looked at before) but is it possible to turn the dead ground behind both goals (I know the Airdrie end is a car park, but still) into 5 asides on one side and a 7 asides on the other? It would generate income and could also pave the way for the community club status meaning we would be eligible for grants and help from the local authorities etc.
I agree with Grant that Cliftonhill Stadium has a limited life span as renovations will reach an untenable financial burden. I know it was an unpopular idea several years ago but I really feel we missed the boat when the opportunity arose to sell the Stadium and purchase the Excelsior which would have left us a profit to be ring fenced to sustain us for a good number of years. It would also have meant a rental income from Airdrie F.C., in addition to income from the five a side pitches and function room. It is abundantly clear that football club stadiums cannot lie empty every other week without generating some type of income. As for community or fan based ownership of the Club, this is a dead duck and a pipe dream unless you have a fan such as Mark Millar willing to put his hand in his pocket which is unlikely to happen.
What would have been the consequences of buying Airdrie's concrete dump? No fans as we are a Coatbridge side? An inevitable merger? Appreciate the problems with Cliftonhill but moving to Airdrie? No thanks. Glad that option is gone. As for fan ownership, don't see how it can work without fans with deep pockets. Millionaires with a soft spot for the rovers are about as much use as Coatbridge people with a soft spot for the rovers. Never seen at Cliftonhill!
Sigh...not the old 'Rovers tried to buy the Airdrie ground' stuff. No they did not. The then chairman, A. Dick, got us a 'great deal' (quote) of £2000 per match to rent that horrendous dump. Thankfully he was stopped.