Raith staff go beyond the call of duty

Turnbull Hutton
Turnbull Hutton
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RAITH Rovers office staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty to plan and organise the Celtic game.

The club only operates a skeleton staff but they have worked extra hours to prepare for Sunday’s sell-out cup tie.

Chairman Turnbull Hutton explained: “There’s been a huge amount of work put into this by everybody at the club.

“The demands on a guy like Bob Farmer - our safety officer - and the processes we’ve had to go through with the BBC, the commercial side, and tickets, have been on a far bigger scale than we’re used to.

“The club is not geared up to handle a match of this magnitude so the staff have really had to pull out all the stops.”

After enjoying a League Cup trip to Parkhead in September, Hutton is looking forward to welcoming the SPL champions to the less salubrious surroundings of Stark’s Park.

“It’s the cup and anything can happen, but on paper we should have no chance,” he said. “Our biggest hope is that Celtic have a bad day. Maybe they won’t like the pitch, or get claustrophobia in the dressing room.

“Not one of their players will be earning less than our entire playing budget. That’s the gulf we’re talking about.

“To get a sell-out is great. It shows that if you get something out of the ordinary the fans will turn out.”

Before he can enjoy the big match, however, the club chairman has an important league reconstruction meeting to attend.

Hutton will be in attendance at Hampden today (Thursday) as Scottish Football League clubs pour over the 12-12-18 plans, which were approved by SPL clubs on Monday.

He hopes that his fellow SFL chairman see the merit in pressing ahead with the change that could prove crucial for the survival of clubs like Raith.

“Wearing a Raith Rovers hat, you’d have to be supportive of the changes,” Hutton said. “We’re moving to a new merged organisation running Scottish football, a fairer financial distribution model, more promotion and relegation, more common sense on stadium criteria, as well as a willingess to try something different.

“Irrespective of your views on what league reconstuction should look like, this is the only deal on the table so we can’t nit-pick at it.

“We can either go for it, or stick with the status quo, but if our recent home crowds are indicative of what we can expect going forward then there’s no way we can continue to operate as we are under the status quo - it’s simply impossible.

“We opposed Rangers going into division one on the grounds of sporting integrity, and we opposed a breakaway SPL2 because it was the right thing to do by other SFL clubs.

“Having done our bit for other clubs, there comes a point where we now have to do what is right for Raith Rovers.”

MATTHEW ELDER

Twitter: @mattelder_ffp