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Wednesday, 1 May, 2002, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
End for Airdrie
Airdrie were Challenge Cup winners this season
Airdrie have gone to the wall after years of uncertainty
  Sports Talk: How to halt the decline?

Airdrieonians have become the first Scottish football club to go out of business since Third Lanark collapsed in 1967.

After two years of uncertainty, the Lanarkshire side have given up hope of finding a buyer and the club has lapsed into full liquidation.

The club's meagre assets are now available for sale, including the club's interest in the Excelsior stadium, a small retail unit and the name of Airdrie FC.

With the club's name available for sale, however, a slim lifeline does exist for Airdrie fans.

The club have debts approaching 3m and no longer have any contracted players or coaching staff.

Spokesman for liquidator KPMG Blair Nimmo confirmed that no bidders had come forward with concrete proposals by Tuesday's deadline.

We all need to recognise that the game in Scotland is facing severe financial problems
KPMG's Blair Nimmo
"Airdrie FC is now proceeding towards full liquidation after a final appeal to save the club failed to produce a buyer.

"There are no bids on the table. The process of selling the assets will begin immediately."

The only way the club can survive is, if the Scottish Football League agree, a buyer resurrecting the club under the name of Airdrie FC.

The club's First Division status no longer exists and the new era would be likely to start in the Third Division.

This, in turn, throws up a number of promotion and relegation issues for other sides.

"If a buyer is found for the original Airdrie FC name, it is conceivable that a 'new' Airdrie FC emerges," Nimmo continued.

"If so, as to whether the 'new' Airdrie FC remains in the league, or is required to seek readmission, is entirely a matter for the footballing authorities.

"We have explored every possible avenue and mechanism for saving the club in its current form.

McCall celebrates an Airdrie goal
Ian McCall did a fantastic job as Airdrie manager
"However, we all need to recognise that the game in Scotland is facing severe financial problems. This is compounded by the particularly difficult financial and legal circumstances facing Airdrie.

Former Scotland and Barcelona striker Steve Archibald was the first to try to take over the club and was granted preferred bidder status last season.

Archibald fell out with Nimmo and KPMG, who terminated his management agreement in January last year.

A consortium under the name of New Broomfield Management was subsequently granted preferred bidder status and appointed Ian McCall as manager.

Against all odds, Airdrie managed a wonderful season in the First Division.

McCall assembled a side on shoestring budget and the Diamonds pushed Partick Thistle for promotion before falling away towards the end of the season.

BBC Scotland's Kheredine Idessane reports
"This is the day they thought would never come"
See also:

01 May 02 |  Scotland
Airdrie history ends here
27 Apr 02 |  Airdrieonians
Airdrie match stopped by invasion
19 Apr 02 |  Airdrieonians
Month to save Airdrie
10 Apr 02 |  Scotland
Airdrie seeking new buyer
23 Mar 02 |  Airdrieonians
Airdrie future back in doubt
21 Mar 02 |  Airdrieonians
Entire team get community service
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