The battle is on to bring Kirkintilloch’s historic Rob Roy Football Club back home — and save it from folding.
Club president Neil Anderson is urging the community to get behind the 140-year-old club in a fresh bid for a new home stadium.
Rabs have been haunted with a series of setbacks since plans originally began for new grounds over a decade ago, including a wrangle with a housing developer over the sale of its former home ground at Adamslie Park and the formation of Kirkintilloch Community Sports Club (KCSC).
Hope came in September 2017 when the council granted permission for a £3 million purpose-built sports pitch and community building at Donaldson Street, Southbank subject to a number of conditions.
But at a special meeting of the council this month, it was decided the site should be put on the open market rather than enter into an agreement with “any single organisation”.
Now Mr Anderson is urging the community “to seize the opportunity” for the club to develop its own facility.
In a statement posted on Rabs supporters’ Facebook page, he said: “The proposed development of the Southbank site under the banner of Kirkintilloch Community Sports Club (KCSC) of which Rob Roy was one of the founder members, can no longer be supported by the council.
“This is due to KCSC being unable to deliver on the full funding package.
“An open marketing exercise for the site will now be conducted by EDC.
“Rob Roy now has the opportunity to bid for the site and develop its own community football facility.
“Please can everyone seize this opportunity and lend their support to our application by signing our petition and raising awareness amongst the local community and businesses.”
The online petition “Rob Roy’s Return Home”, has amassed almost 600 signatures so far.
Council boss Thomas Glen said: “The council has been in discussions with Kirkintilloch Community Sports Club since its inception regarding potential development at Park Burn site.
“However, to date, the club has been unable to secure the financial package to bring forward development.
“The council has therefore taken the decision to enter an open marketing process with a view to bringing forward development. This will allow any party, including Rob Roy, to bring forward proposals.
“The council understands that development of this site would be a project with great benefits to the community.”
Rob Roy has been forced to lodge with local rivals Cumbernauld since Adamslie Park closed in 2014.
To view Rabs’ petition, visit https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/RobRoysReturn Home