Shire welcome Dunfermline to the family of fan-owned clubs

Shire boss John Coughlin is preparing for the visit of Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday

Shire boss John Coughlin is preparing for the visit of Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday

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East Stirlingshire chiefs are anticipating a bumper crowd on Saturday and are warning fans to turn up early after the future League Cup opponents Dunfermline Athletic was secured this week.

The vote of creditors of the Fife club means the Pars will continue to fulfil their fixtures, the next of which will be at Ochilview.

The takeover by the fans’ group Pars United is one which strikes a chord with everyone at the Shire, which has been under the effective control of its supporters trust for more than two years.

Officials hope Saturday’s game could be a celebration of supporter ownership of football clubs.

“It will be nice to welcome the latest addition to the family of fan-owned and fan-run clubs on Saturday,” said Kopszywa. “A lot of people doubted the ability of supporter groups to take on the task; they said it would lead to irresponsible spending in the pursuit of success.

“Of course, quite the opposite has been the case. Fan-owned clubs in Scotland have been the most financially-cautious of all, partly because their control is linked to previous financial problems. But I think as well that when supporters take over football clubs that have had a near-death experience they do value its continued existence over short-term glory.”

Two years ago Shire were in a similar place, and Kopszywa admits there were bills to pay and no money to pay them.

“It is a scary position to be in,” admitted the Shire secretary. “But it’s good that there are alternatives now that allow clubs to recover rather than let them go the way of Third Lanark and Accrington Stanley.”