Board will discuss Gers fall-out

Liam Buchanan almost opened the scoring.
Liam Buchanan almost opened the scoring.

Bayview chairman Lee Murray says lessons will be learned following the visit of league leaders Rangers over the weekend.

The Methil club has never had to prepare for a fixture quite like the visit of the Gers since their move to the new Bayview.

Scott McBride whips in a cross.

Scott McBride whips in a cross.

Off the park, Mr Murray admitted that organisation for the fixture was in a different league to a standard League One match.

A temporary terracing was put in place to accommodate the large travelling support, while extra catering, stewarding and ticketing arrangements also had to be thought out.

Following the fixture, some Fife fans vented their frustration on social media and supporter forums at the number of Rangers supporters who found a way into the home end.

Some suggested that Mr Murray himself had allowed a local branch of a Rangers supporters group a block of tickets in the home end.

On Monday, Mr Murray told the Mail: “A lot of the Rangers supporters in the home end were sold on tickets by our supporters trust members and season ticket holders.

“There’s some truth in the block of tickets being sold to the Methil and Buckhaven Rangers Supporters Club.

“I was out of the country on holiday when it happened and was raging when I heard about it.

“But our board and fans didn’t think we’d sell out our stand so that decision was taken.

“The Rangers supporters are all fans who their club security know personally, so it was done with supporter safety in mind.”

The East Fife board was due to meet last night (Tuesday) when feedback received from supporters on the game would be discussed.

Mr Murray said that, although the club was taking an element of criticism from fans for certain aspects of the game, the vast majority of the preparation was completely out of their hands.

He said: “This was nothing like a normal game.

“When Rangers come to town the SPFL and the police completely take over.

“They were the ones making the decisions and handled absolutely everything from safety and security to off-street car parking.”

Mr Murray added that the club had looked at various ways the ground capacity could be increased but, despite being approved by Fife Council, these were knocked back by the police, while other ways of increasing capacity would have taken too long to put in place.

In the end, the temporary terracing was agreed on, built and a safety certificate granted just a few days before kick off.

With the game now done, attention can turn to Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie with Forfar.

While Mr Murray would like a run in the cup, he admits the draw could have been kinder.

“We either wanted a home draw or a game against an easier team,” he said.

“In the end going to Forfar was probably one of the most difficult games we could have been given.

“I’d love a run in the Scottish Cup, but it’s going to be very, very difficult.

“I’d take a draw and a replay right now.”