It is unusual to describe a game before the end of September and before the end of the first quarter of matches as vital but I believe this is an accurate description of today’s game against Stirling Albion.
A positive result is crucial for us to keep in touch with the teams above us and to begin the move away from the bottom of the league.
There are some clear signs that the team is beginning to gel and becoming more competitive in League 2. Between now and the end of October we have 3 league games and a second round Scottish Cup tie at home against Formartine United. At that point we will have a more accurate picture of where we are and our prospects for the season.
As a board we will support any suggestions the manager has for strengthening the squad. Obviously, this has to be done within the budget we can afford.
It has been mentioned that we received new sponsorship money this season from the naming rights of the stadium and from NLC Suicide Prevention having their logo on the back of the tops. What also has to be factored in is the loss of 6 good gates from games against the full-time clubs in League One last season and the cut in money from the SPFL due to our relegation. Then we have had large unexpected costs which have impacted on the budget in ensuring the stadium meets ground safety requirements and bringing our floodlights up to SPFL standards. So, any ‘new’ money is quickly taken account of.
On the club message board, it has been rumoured that there have been moves to replace the current directors by other parties. I can confirm that there have been no direct or indirect formal or informal moves along these lines. As a board we have a duty to consider any offers that would benefit the club but nothing has happened in this area. It would be brilliant if there are people out there willing to invest in the club both financially and by putting time into the running of the club.
We have been constantly asked by a small number of people about the appointment of John Brogan to the manager’s post. We invited applications, formed an appointments panel including 2 people who had played football at senior level and then conducted interviews. John got the job on merit. All 4 candidates interviewed were made aware of the budget available for players and outlined their plans for putting a team together with the finances available. John has greatly impressed by his dedication to the post and his understanding of the particular challenges at a club like the Rovers.
All the decisions made by the board have been and will be made for the overall good of the club and made on the basis that no one or nothing is bigger than the club itself. If difficult decisions have to be made they will be made for the overall good of the club.
Unfortunately, due to fixture timings, we will not be able to mark Show Racism the Red Card initiative at the Reigart Stadium in the coming weeks but it is an event the club fully supports as racism continues to be a blight on our society and our sport even if it bubbles under the surface more so than in the past.
A bright spot at the club at the moment is the good start our reserve team has made in League 2. We followed the manager’s advice in having a reserve team as John thought it would serve the overall squad best if fringe players, those coming back from injury and trialists could play competitive games instead of a series of friendlies throughout the season. There are costs associated with running a reserve team but these are largely met by an SPFL payment for participating in this league and it also looks likes the decision is paying dividends in football terms.
Well done to our 50-year-old mascot today: happy birthday to Ian Lochhead aka the Prof. Apologies to Ian for the fact that supporting the Rovers for so many years has led to him having so many grey hairs.
Also, thanks to Davie Shanks for sponsoring today’s game. Davie’s family and company are great supporters of the club.
Here’s to a victory today. Enjoy the match.