Supporters group criticises Bairns as Rangers vote row rumbles on

Falkirk
Falkirk

Fans representatives Bairnstrust have slammed Falkirk for a “lack of transparency”.

The group - a major shareholder in the club - has released a statement in response to one made by the club on Friday, where the Bairns stood by their stance to keep their vote on Rangers SFL admission a secret.

Bairnstrust previously backed the club in its’ rallying calls for change in June when club chairman Martin Ritchie claimed Falkirk was against parachuting Rangers into Division One under the “current proposals” which he branded “unacceptable”.

However, in response to fans queries arising from a suggestion in a national newspaper the Bairns were one of five to vote Rangers into the second tier, the Bairns issued another statement. But the club website notice, covered on www.falkirkherald.co.uk here did not reveal how the club voted - as neighbours Stenhousemuir and East Stirlingshire have already clarified.

The club notice called for a working party to look at league expansion and also said: “The Board believe that the decision to require the newco to start in Division Three is absolutely the right outcome as far as Rangers is concerned.” And added: “The club will not be making any statement on how it voted in the secret ballot at the SFL. As with most clubs, we will honour the confidentiality of the vote.”

However Bairnstrust - which has a representative on the Falkirk FC board of directors - has countered this afternoon, with Trust chief Tom Paterson slating the club’s “lack of transparency”.

“As we all know Newco Rangers are now in Division 3, as voted at the SFL meeting, and now is time for Falkirk Football Club and it’s fans to move on. We believe that is the correct stance, however much controversy exists as to the role played by Falkirk Football Club, with a national newspaper accusing Falkirk of voting to place them in Division 1.

The Club had made early statements that Newco should go to Division 3 yet the most recent statement suggested that a reconstruction of the leagues would be appropriate and the vote taken at the most recent SFL meeting was secret and, as such, would remain confidential. In an attempt to clarify the position taken by Falkirk Football Club, Bairnstrust has had a number of discussions with the club through our Board Delegate and Chairman.

“We find the lack of transparency from Falkirk Football Club to be unsatisfactory especially as in the Falkirk Herald recently the General Manager talked about improving communication with the supporters. The fans of the football club have been very supportive in the last year or so and we believe should always be at the forefront when decisions are made.

“This unsatisfactory position is timely, as it supports the Bairnstrust’s long term ambition to have the fans better represented on the Board and to bring the Board to account for its actions. We believe this can only be achieved by Bairnstrust increasing its shareholding to a much larger percentage. We would finally like to wish the manager, his coaching staff and all the players ‘good luck’ for the coming season and urge the fans to get behind the team as they have done every season.”

The Trust also announced plans for a fans’ question and answer session involving team manager Steven Pressley and the club chairman.