People are being urged to support plans for a new stadium for Kirkintilloch Rob Roy or face losing the 139-year-old football club for good.
Rob Roy’s General Secretary Charles O’Brien has warned if the proposal submitted to East Dunbartonshire Council is rejected, the club will fold.
The application for a purpose-built community facility at Donaldson Street comes eight years after the sale of the club’s previous ground at Adamslie Park.
Rabs have been hit with a series of setbacks since plans originally began for new grounds over a decade ago.
Mr O’Brien said: If this fails then the club will no longer exist. We are paying out all the time. It is a real strain having to find money for buses to travel to shared pitches to play matches and for wages”.
He added: “I am appealing to members of the community to show their support for our historic team by writing a letter of support to the council’s planning committee. It’s not only going to secure the legacy of the club, which has played in Kirkintilloch since 1878, but will be an invaluable asset to the people of the town as a community facility”.
Strathkelvin MSP Rona Mackay and Kirkintilloch East MP Stuart McDonald are both backing the development.
SNP MP Mr McDonald told the Herald: “The application is an exciting one for the club and the town, and to my mind all the arguments stack up heavily in favour of this development getting the go-ahead.
“It will both safeguard and signal a bright future for the club; but also bring a huge number of new opportunities for the whole community.”
Rona Mackay, also SNP, said: “This much-needed facility would be a huge asset to the town in so many respects, not least to encourage young people to become active and interested in sport”.
The plans are for a community sports facility with 3G sports pitch, multi-purpose pitch, community building, associated changing facilities and car parking. Other groups would also benefit, from football to cycling, taekwondo, shinty and gymnastics.
A spokesperson for EDC said: “We are consulting with neighbours and interested bodies to seek their views”.
Rob Roy is one of Scotland’s oldest junior football clubs and winners of the Scottish Junior Cup on several occasions. Last month marked the 40th anniversary of a milestone match for Rabs – playing in the final of the first televised Scottish Junior Cup.