Mo Fest at Links Park
Montrose celebrated another successful Music festival at the weekend and Links Park enjoyed a lineup of fine acts on the Saturday.
Mo Fest Photos by Phoenix Photo Shop
League 1 Table 2018/19
Last week’s Review made pleasant reading for Montrose FC Chairman Derek Sim as he reflected on a historic day for the club. Over 2,100 people crammed into Links Park on the 16th May to witness a pulsating match that seen Montrose avoid the dreaded drop into the Highland League by seeing off Brora Rangers 3-2 in the Pyramid Play-Off Final.
Derek said, “I want to say a huge thank you to all those who turned out to support us last week. We had hoped for significantly more than our normal attendance of around 350, but to see the queues stretching up Wellington Street and around the corner just before 3pm was unbelievable.
“Clubs often refer to their support as being their 12th man but I am convinced on this occasion it was indeed the fans that got us over the line. I spoke to a number of the players after the game and they said how much of a difference the crowd made. Football is a passionate game and when you see so many people desperately wanting their team to do well, it is very infectious.
“Having recovered sufficiently from the euphoria and relief, we are now putting plans in place for next season and we hope to confirm our new management team shortly. This will allow the recruitment of players to begin and we will keep our fans up to date as signings are completed.
“But most importantly, we very much want to encourage those who made the effort last week to come back to Links Park on a regular basis. Even a small increase in attendances would go a long way to boosting the player budget and improving the calibre of players we could attract to the Club. We are working on a season ticket package at the moment, which will be available in a couple of weeks and it would be great if we could encourage fans to take up the offer to provide a cash injection for the Club at this important time.
“In the meantime I would just like to thank everyone again for their support and reassure them that the Board will be doing all it can to make sure that has situation has been a one off.”
Montrose Football Club face arguably the most important two fixtures in their 136 year existence as they line up against Brora Rangers in the inaugural SPFL Pyramid Play Off Final. Played over two legs, the Gable Endies will travel the 190+ miles north to Brora this coming weekend with the second leg at Links Park on Saturday 16th May. With rumours and speculation rife around exactly how this will affect the Club, win or lose, we caught up with Chairman Derek Sim to get a view from inside the Club.
What is the clubs view of the pyramid play off?
"Our views were made known at the time that we were not in favour of the pyramid system. That said we, like all other clubs accepted we could not pick and choose selective parts of the proposal for a merger between the SPL and SFL and accepted the decision. Our aim at the start of the season was not to avoid bottom spot, but more to challenge for a promotion play off place as we felt we had a squad capable of achieving that."
If you lose the play off, where will the Club go and will it survive?
"If we lose the play off, given our geographical location, we will enter the Highland League. As this would be a first for any League 2 side, we have nothing really to compare it with as far as building a business case is concerned. A number of Highland League clubs are financially strong and with 18 teams and extensive travelling it would be a tough league to compete in and win. It would be a real challenge but one as a Club we would face head on. Obviously we would have to look at cutting our day to day running costs and carefully consider where we look for players so as to reduce their travel commitments. But our fate is very much in our own hands and all our efforts are focused at this time on winning the play off."
Is there any form of parachute payment?
"There is a parachute payment from the SPFL for the first two seasons, but with no previous examples to compare it with, we don’t really know how much of a benefit this will be at this stage."
Who will be manager next season?
"Paul and John have been tasked from day one to keep us in League 2 and at this stage that is as far as the commitment goes. Once we know our fate, following the play offs we will sit down and discuss what is best for both them and the Club."
Have the Club signed any players yet for next season?
"At this stage, all our players are only contracted to the end of this season as it is common practice these days to only issue one year deals. Until we know what league we are in and what our wage structure will be we cannot hold any meaningful talks with either our own players or potential new players."
What is happening with the pitch?
"Our 3G artificial surface, laid back in 2007 has come to the end of its natural life and has failed its recent FIFA tests. We have moved quickly and appointed a contractor to replace the top layer with a state of the art surface during the close season. This has required significant efforts by the Directors to get to this stage in dealing and negotiating with a number of vendors. We have also worked extensively on funding arrangements for the project."
Should you have appointed Paul Hegarty earlier in the season?
"An impossible question to answer as football is an unpredictable game and can be very cruel at times. On many occasions a change in manager does bring a change in fortune on the park, but there are also many examples of teams who have stuck by a manager through tough times and have reaped the rewards as a result. The Board did everything possible to increase the player budget in the last transfer window but unfortunately things didn’t work out. Paul and John came in a at a very difficult time and they have done a great job in galvanising the squad, raising the confidence and creating some momentum in the run up to the play off. Recent results and performances have been very encouraging."
What would you say to your supporters?
"I appreciate how disappointed they have been this season and can only assure them that the Directors feel equally disappointed. We take our responsibility very seriously and we have worked very hard this season to do what we believed was best for the Club. However, this is a results driven business and we find ourselves where we are because we simply haven’t won enough games this year. For many, many weeks now we have kept an eye on other scores as we competed with those around us to avoid 10th place. All we need to do now is look at ourselves. Our fate is in our hands. I hope all Montrose fans recognise how important these play off games are and that they come out in numbers to support their team. Your Club needs Your Support!"
The chairman of the SPFL says the Scottish game is being “badly short-changed” by the BBC and has called for a far more equitable split of licence fee spending on the game north of the border.
Ralph Topping was responding to reported comments made yesterday by the BBC’s director of Sport Barbara Slater, who admitted there was “inequality” in the amount of money the Scottish game receives from the public broadcaster compared to the English Premier League.
He said: “The days of the BBC selling Scottish football short are drawing to a close. There is an overwhelming argument that the public money spent by the BBC on the UK’s national game should be more evenly split.
“There is no doubt that the English Premier League is one of the most powerful leagues in the world, and the BBC is paying £68million per annum over the next three years for its slice of that particular cake, but Scottish football will no longer be satisfied with the crumbs off the table.
“Compared to England, Scots contribute a tenth of the licence fee, yet at less than £1million for TV highlights, our BBC deal is only 1/60th of what the BBC pays to the English Premier League – and that doesn’t include the money they also pay to the English Football League for highlights. The BBC is damaging the game in Scotland and these double standards are indefensible for a publicly-funded broadcaster.
“It’s a sad reflection of the BBC’s approach to its investment in Scottish football that Gary Lineker’s salary is DOUBLE the amount the BBC pays for TV highlights of over 250 SPFL games each year.
“In the current deal, the BBC has almost halved the amount they previously spent on Scottish football. There comes a point where you have to say ‘enough is enough’ and we’ve reached it.
“Fans, clubs, politicians and the Scottish public recognise that, as our national broadcaster, the BBC has a duty to do the right thing.
“The facts could not be clearer – for far too long the BBC has been discriminating against Scottish football and it’s time for the corporation to increase its contribution to the sport in Scotland to properly reflect what our country contributes to the licence fee.
“There is one more season left on our current deal with the BBC and we’re determined that any new deal far better reflects the importance of the game in Scotland and the hundreds of millions the corporation receives from Scottish licence fee payers every year.”
SPFL announces key dates for start of 2015/16 season
The SPFL has confirmed dates for the commencement of league and cup competitions at the start of the 2015/16 Scottish football season.
· Weekend of Saturday July 25 – Petrofac Training Cup 1st round
· Weekend of Saturday August 1 – Scottish Premiership begins
· Weekend of Saturday August 1 – Scottish League Cup 1st round
· Weekend of Saturday August 8 – Scottish Championship, Scottish League 1 and Scottish League 2 begin
The full fixture lists for the League season are expected to be announced in June.
Dates for the draws for the first rounds of both the Petrofac Training Cup and the Scottish League Cup will be announced in due course.
Either one or two Scottish League Cup first round matches scheduled for the weekend of Saturday August 1 may be moved due to the involvement of a Premiership club which creates a clash with the start of the Scottish Premiership season.
On 5th May Montrose FC Chairman, Derek Sim, will commence the 50 day 5k challenge in aid of Links Park Community Trust, a registered charity, who organise and utilise the power and appeal of sport to deliver innovative sporting, healthy and educational programmes for children throughout the Montrose and Mearns area. Wherever possible please support Derek's valiant efforts through contributing to his justgiving page. www.justgiving.com/derek-sim
Many thanks for your support.
SCOTTISH PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE ANNOUNCES LADBROKES AS TITLE SPONSOR
The SPFL has today announced the betting company Ladbrokes as its title sponsor from season 2015/16, in a two-year deal which includes rights across all four leagues and 42 clubs.
The deal is the biggest ever of its kind in Scottish football and will see the nation’s professional football leagues become known as the Ladbrokes Premiership, Ladbrokes Championship, Ladbrokes League 1 and Ladbrokes League 2 ahead of the start of the new season in August.
It marks the latest in a rich history of high-profile sports sponsorship and brand associations for Ladbrokes, which plans to run a host of activations through the different rights of its SPFL title partnership.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Ladbrokes to the SPFL’s growing family of key sponsors and partners and look forward to working with them from season 2015/16 at this truly exciting time for Scottish football.
“As an established and respected leading brand in its very competitive marketplace, Ladbrokes is a perfect partner for the SPFL and we have a shared vision of a positive future for professional league football in Scotland. Ladbrokes’ backing of Scottish football is hugely valued and appreciated and I say that not only on behalf of the SPFL but also for all 42 member clubs.
“Today’s announcement is the result of significant investment of energy and effort and further strengthens our optimism about the future health of the game in Scotland.
“With all that positivity comes an opportunity to tell the story of a modern, engaging and exciting Scottish football environment and we look forward to doing just that with all our partners including new title sponsor Ladbrokes.”
Ladbrokes is a world leader in the betting and gaming industry with more than 2,100 shops and a great heritage and presence across UK sport. It has recently sponsored Rugby Football League’s Challenge Cup, extended its backing of horse racing’s St Leger Festival at Doncaster and continues to sponsor The Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Welcoming the new partnership, Jim Mullen, CEO of Ladbrokes said: “We love football so we are delighted to be working with the SPFL on one of the best opportunities in British sport.
“This partnership will help to propel Ladbrokes and the SPFL to new heights and will put us at the heart of Scottish football throughout the year. Getting people engaged with great sport and making sure they share our passion is at the very core of everything we are about.
“Our customers support clubs at every level of Scottish football from the professional leagues that we sponsor to the local Sunday League stalwarts. The Scottish game deserves a committed supporter and our financial backing will help to ensure every level of the game benefits from Ladbrokes' involvement."
Angus DD10 8QD