Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stirling Albion bought by fans

Congratulations to the community of Stirling fans who have bought their football club. Stirling Albion are the first in the British isles to do so though such a concept in not unusual on the continent. Two of the biggest names in the sport - Barcelona and Real Madrid - are owned by their communities as are clubs in the Netherlands and Germany. The Scots' cringe may say, 'we canny do it', but many Scots are doing it already.

The coming of the Scots' Parliament gave crofting communities the right to buy their own land. The crofters of Asainte in Sutherland were the first to mount a hostile takeover bid. They were soon followed by the islanders of Eigg - see above - who had been fucked about by a succession of rich and 'eccentric' landowners for decades to the point that islanders were forbidden to develop or maintain their own homes without permission from some wealthy and foreign fruitcake.

There has since been many takeovers of crofting communities - the latest being a hostile takeover of the Pàirc estate in Lewis. The hard work and dedication involved in these matters should not be underestimated but the flipside is that private ownership does not always work either. And, if it does work, does it work for everyone's benefit?

If communities can do it, why can't football clubs? In both cases we have livelihoods at stake as well as a lot of tradition and history involved. We've seen various clubs go under - Clydebank and Gretna come to mind from recent years - while many more are in deep trouble. Hearts are up to their necks in debt and should their mad owner withdraw many think it would be the end. However, if Stirling can do it, surely a large club like Hearts with a potential support of many tens of thousands could do it too.

Support Stirling Albion and lets leave the nay saying Scots' cringe in dark old days of the London empire.

Meal a naidheachd air Albion Shruighlea is gach deagh dhùrachd is soirbheachas leibh.

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