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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Champions ponder promotion
Caley Thistle boss John Robertson celebrates
First Division champions Inverness Caley Thistle will hold a series of meetings this week before deciding whether to apply for promotion.

The club have tentatively agreed to ground-share with Aberdeen, but will discuss the matter with shareholders and fans over the next three days.

Club chairman Ken Mackie says the main issues concern the finances involved and how many fans will go to Pittodrie.

The rent and up-keep of the stadium and pitch is estimated at 300,000.

A legally-binding agreement with Aberdeen must be in place by 28 May if Caley Thistle want to go up.

Partick Thistle, though, are preparing a legal challenge if the Highland club do bid for promotion.

Caley Thistle's director of football Graeme Bennett told BBC Sport on Saturday: "If I was a betting man then I think we will be playing in the Premier League."

There have been suggestions that the financial burden of having to re-lay the Pittodrie pitch would prove too big for Caley Thistle.

We need an SPL board now to take us there
Caley Thistle boss John Robertson
A board statement, issued immediately after the final whistle, stressed that "no firm decision" had been made on whether to enter the necessary groundshare agreement.

But Bennett stressed: "I think it's no secret that I would like to give it a crack.

"I think if the shareholders and fans say they want it, we will press the button to give it a crack."

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson indicated that he and many of his players would have to re-assess their position at the club if it rejected the possibility of promotion.

"We are an SPL team, with SPL fans," he said. "We need an SPL board now to take us there.

"I don't want to go to those players and tell them we are not going there.

"The chairman said when I came here that he wanted me to take them to the Premier League.

"We have delivered our part of the bargain."

Caley Thistle's victory over St Johnstone meant that Clyde's 5-2 win away to Brechin City was meaningless and added to their Challenge Cup victory and their progress to the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

"We were 10 points behind with 10 games to go, so it is incredible," said Robertson.

Meanwhile, Hamilton Academical joined neighbours Airdrie United in winning promotion with a 4-0 win over Forfar Athletic to edge out both Morton and Dumbarton.

East Fife were relegated despite a victory at Stenhousemuir, while Stranraer pipped Stirling Albion to the Third Division title by beating Albion Rovers.


Division One
Champions: Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Relegated: Ayr United, Brechin City

Division Two
Champions: Airdrie United
Promoted: Hamilton Academical
Relegated: East Fife, Stenhousemuir

Division Three
Champions: Stranraer
Promoted: Stirling Albion




SEE ALSO
Partick prepare legal block
15 May 04  |  Partick Thistle
Inverness 3-1 St Johnstone
15 May 04  |  Other Scottish
Forfar 0-4 Hamilton
15 May 04  |  Other Scottish
Stenhousemuir 0-1 East Fife
15 May 04  |  Other Scottish
Stranraer 4-0 Albion Rovers
15 May 04  |  Other Scottish



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