Alloa stance disappoints Rovers chief

Eric Drysdale
Eric Drysdale

Raith Rovers have expressed disappointment over Alloa’s refusal to play the postponed Boxing Day clash this week.

Rovers had hoped to reschedule for Tuesday in order to allow exiled supporters home from Christmas and New Year a chance to attend a match at Stark’s Park, and to avoid a situation that will see them go without a home league match for seven weeks.

However, the club were unable to reach agreement with Alloa and the match has instead been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 12, 7.45 p.m.

Eric Drysdale, Raith chief executive, said: “I understand the main reason for Alloa refusing to play was that they had given their players time off and didn’t want to change that.

“It’s disappointing because at the end of the day we are professional football clubs and there are supporters hoping to be entertained by a match at Stark’s Park.

“I know of a number of fans who travelled substantial distances - Canadia, Austrialia, America - to come home for Christmas and New Year and who were hoping to take in a game but now won’t be able to do so.

“That’s disappointing and unfortunate - however Alloa have to look after their own interests I guess.

“I’m sure they will be looking to strengthen their team between now and January 12, which is understable given the position they are in.”

After an inch and a half of rain on Boxing Day morning, Drysdale admitted that only a roof over Stark’s Park would have prevented the postponement.

“Small areas of the concern caused the Rangers call-off, but on this occasion it was whole pitch,” he said.

“Nothing short of having a roof over the stadium would have made game playable.

“However, I want to pay tribute to the groundstaff who worked immensely hard to try to get the game on.

“They were in on Christmas Day working on the pitch and at 3 p.m the pitch was playable, but by 8 o’clock on Boxing Day morning it wasn’t.”

Drysdale admitted that loss of income from the cancellation of the Rangers and Alloa matches has given the club cashflow problems.

“Not having a home league game for seven weeks causes difficulties - there’s no getting away from it,” he said.

“All we can do right now is hang on in there and manage around it best we can.”

Raith’s next income will come from the halved gate at the upcoming Scottish Cup fourth round clash against Hibs at Stark’s Park on January 9.

Tickets for the tie are currently on sale from Stark’s Park, and will be on sale Monday to Friday next week in the build-up to the big game.

The club is also selling tickets to fans travelling to Edinburgh for this Saturday’s New Year league match away to Hibs who wish to avoid queuing at the Easter Road ticket pod.

Previous trips to the ground have resulted in Raith fans missing kick-off due to lengthy queues.

Tickets for the January 2 game will be on sale from Stark’s Park on Wednesday from 9.00 a.m until 4.00 p.m and on Hogmanay from 10.00 a.m until 2.00 p.m.