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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Gretna: Now insiders fear the end is nigh

Gretna players, coaches and staff were bracing themselves for possible bad news this morning after administrators controlling the stricken club’s affairs summoned them to crisis talks.

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David Elliott: Said two weeks ago that an advance would enable Gretna to continue until the end of the season

News of the meeting  at Raydale Park renewed speculation about whether Gretna will be able to see out the rest of their troubled campaign despite assurances two weeks ago that SPL funding would enable them to fulfil their fixtures.

The players are preparing for tomorrow’s clash with Inverness Caley Thistle – now set to revert to Motherwell’s Fir Park – not knowing if the game will even go ahead.

A Gretna insider told The Cumberland News: “Things just seem to change by the day and we never know where we are. We’re preparing for Saturday’s game – but anything could happen before then.

“The administrators say they’re going to make an announcement to staff on Friday morning. If we don’t fulfil Saturday’s fixture then that will probably be the end of Gretna.”

Administrator David Elliot said two weeks ago that an advance of SPL prize money would enable Gretna to continue until the end of the season and give the club time for a potential buyer to come forward.

Potential new owners were stunned to then be handed a deadline of last Monday to make their bids, although it is now understood that two interested parties are still negotiating to takeover the club, which was relegated from the SPL following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to St Mirren.

A mega-rich Californian-based consortium is still in the frame, along with Glasgow-based football consultant and agent Paul Davies, whose father Ken is the club’s security chief. The debt-ridden club has been forced to withdraw from the SPL Reserve League because of a shortage of players after 22 players were made redundant last week and the youth system scrapped.

Fir Park will host tomorrow’s game if it goes ahead after the last home game was staged at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium because of work on Motherwell’s quagmire pitch.

The SPL held an emergency board meeting to discuss Gretna’s plight on Tuesday morning and they insists it is business as usual for the Borderers tomorrow.

An SPL spokesman said last night: “There’s a match scheduled for 3pm on Saturday for Gretna and we’re expecting it to go ahead.

“We’re in constant communication with administrators.”

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