RAITH Rovers director Turnbull Hutton hopes fans respond to the Sell Out Saturday campaign by turning out in numbers for the league opener against Hamilton.
Rovers have been told to expect a number of followers from inactive clubs at Stark’s Park this Saturday as a show of support for the club’s firm stance against allowing newco Rangers into the first division.
Celtic fans, in particular, seem prepared to travel to Kirkcaldy with scores of their supporters promising to attend the game on web forums and social media.
It promises to be a welcome boost for the cash-strapped club, and Hutton hopes Rovers’ own fans are equally energised for the start of the new season.
“The opening game of the season is always special,” he told the Press.
“We’ve got a new management team, new players, a slightly different playing style, and we’re still in two cups - which is unchartered waters for us at this time in August!
“You would hope that given all that there would be a bit of excitement generated among our own fans, on top of everything that’s happened during the close season.
“At the same time we welcome any other supporters from other clubs who make a point of coming along to support our stand on the issue of sporting integrity.”
Raith will join in the spirit of the occasion by allowing fans of other clubs to wear their own team’s colours inside the stadium.
“We’re treating this as a gala day,” Hutton explained. “It’s a day for fans to turn out it their own club colours and show support for the SFL clubs who stood up for what was right.”
The exact impact that Sell Out Saturday may have is difficult to gauge, but Hutton would be pleased to see a crowd in excess of 2000.
“In normal circumstances we’d anticipate a crowd of under 2000 so anything above that would be a big bonus,” he said.
“However, having an extra 400 or 500 Rovers fans attending regularly would make a much bigger difference than any one-off Saturday.
“We’ve continually said since last year that we desperately need more bums on seats - and we live in hope.”
Hutton has become something of an unwilling hero in the eyes of Scottish football fans for voicing his opinion on the Rangers situation.
“My wife is reluctant to be seen with me in public now!” he said. “It’s the usual thing in Scottish football whereby if you stick your head above the parapet you’ll either get it shot off, or be lauded.
“You’ll get good PR and you’ll get bad PR - and we’ve experienced both over the years. You learn to take it all with a pinch of salt. Life goes on.
“What we don’t want is to be viewed as anti-Rangers or pro-Celtic. Our stance would have been the same irrespective of who was involved.”