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    Alloa look to save game 

    Thursday, December 02, 2010 5:22:45 PM

    All SPL and SFL fixtures have been cancelled however Alloa chairman Mike Mulraney has persuaded SFL chief executive David Longmuir to give the Alloa Athletic v. Peterhead game a chance still to go ahead.
    Mike Mulraney said “The biggest factor for us is that with having a G3 surface and the experience of last winter’s horrible weather gave us a few lessons on how to make sure we at least stand a very good chance of making the games go ahead, our council have got the roads around the ground pretty clear and we have viewed it as an opportunity for us to make sure that we got our car parks and our routes in and out of the ground , with access cleared up, so we are reasonably satisfied that we stand an excellent chance of doing that and the pitch underneath the snow, we have learned the lesson of how to deal with the snow and the pitch underneath the snow is excellent at the moment so we are really hopeful that we can go ahead. Getting the pitch ready is one issue but obviously we are fortunate that the local council have done an excellent job on the main routes, there is plenty of vitality in the town, indeed I have just come from the town centre less than an hour ago at the town’s Christmas lights switching on ceremony and there was a good few hundred people at that so we are relatively happy that getting to the ground is possible, however I acknowledge that coming from Peterhead will be a bit of a challenge but we would like to do our bit to assist in any way we can, but we are relatively happy that if we can get the ground up to standard which would appear to be the case so far, weather permitting it would look to be the only game in the Scottish League which goes ahead. Basically we understand that it is a long distance to come and while I would welcome a thousand of their supporters attending, I suspect it might not be that many, but in the spirit of the fact that the Peterhead Directors have been brilliant with their attitude of also wanting the game to go ahead we thought it would be a nice gesture for our club to say to the fans if you are going to come down we will speak to their supporters club before and if the game goes ahead we will put on transport taking from the railway station up to the ground, if they get off in Alloa or Stirling station, we will make efforts to make sure we are seen to be reciprocating the gesture Peterhead are making by agreeing to try bring their team down, so we would offer to make the Peterhead fans more than welcome as we always do. In fair to the SFL they have been excellent with giving us a chance but to be honest why we have been given this opportunity is more to do with the G3 surface the fact that we can get our surface ready where other SFL clubs, apart from the other 4 who also play on G3 it just so happens that we have learned the lesson of last winter, we did lose a game last winter but lucky were not like other clubs who lost 6 and 7 weeks only because of our surface and we have managed the process all week, we have been on top of it all week, we have a plan in place now for in climate weather because we suspect that this might be a regular occurrence moving forward, I hear the comments regarding summer football but at the minute we have winter football and we view it as an learning curve we are 90% sure but we will give a final call on Friday afternoon – but we are relatively sure we can manage this and if we don’t this time we will in future but we think we have got to learn that lesson and that other clubs probably will as well. What I would say on summer football is that we have an absolute open mind to all change, we don’t fear change, we can see the merits and disadvantages of summer football there is a bit of both, so personally I fall in neither camp, I see the disadvantages and advantages, I personally probably would like to watch football in the sunshine, but if it was down to me we would play football 12 months of the year!
    If we can get the game to go ahead on Saturday perhaps its a lesson we can take and export, because if we are going to have this in climate weather regularly in winter we have to make sure we can get the games on when we can for the fans, 2 months with no games for clubs will put clubs under there is no doubt about it, if clubs have no cash flow for two months they are going to be in trouble and some of them will need to take every opportunity to look at making these games happen, certainly for many of the clubs the conditions around the grounds at present were a real problem but any of them on grass would not go ahead anyway so only clubs with a G3 surface would be given a fighting chance and we will certainly be doing our best to give this game a great chance of going ahead”.

    Mike Mulraney
    Alloa Athletic Chairman

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