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Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
New hope as Airdrieonians die
Airdrie celebrated on the park but ended the season in liquidation
Any new club in Airdrie will have to find a new name
Airdrieonians Football and Athletic Club has officially died as new hope emerged that senior football will still be played in the Lanarkshire town next season.

North Lanarkshire Council has urged the Scottish Football League not to turn its back on the town.

And it has backed Glasgow accountant Jim Ballantyne's application to the SFL for a new Airdrie to take the vacant place in the Third Division.

Airdrieonians went into liquidation and lost their place in the SFL at the end of a season during which they just missed out on promotion to the Scottish Premier League.


The joint interim liquidators are no longer seeking offers for the Airdrieonians Football and Athletic Club name
KPMG statement
Liquidator KPMG on Tuesday announced that no offers had been received for the sale of the old, 124-year-old name along with the Excelsior Stadium.

KPMG now wishes "to encourage early offers for the stadium and will shortly be discussing with North Lanarkshire Council the best way forward".

While Ayr United chairman Bill Barr's company is still owed money for the building of the stadium, the council owns the title deeds to the land and, in effect, can claim ownership.

It has written to the SFL urging it to "seize the opportunity to save a part of Scotland's footballing history".

Local MPs have added their backing and a letter to the SFL adds: "With an established home support and a first-class stadium on its doorstep, a senior Airdrie team would be a real asset for the Scottish Third Division.

"We understand that at least one application from a new Airdrie club, through a consortium led by Jim Ballantyne, will be submitted and the council will be supporting this in any way it can."

Any new club to emerge from the ashes of Airdrieonians will have to find a new name.

Ballantyne had already registered the names Airdrie FC Ltd and Airdrie Football Club Ltd for that purpose.

A KPMG statement said: "Given the existence of other variants of the 'Airdrie FC' name, the joint interim liquidators are no longer seeking offers for the Airdrieonians Football and Athletic Club name.

"The stadium was being sold as a package alongside the club name in order to maximise the chances of an application being made to the SFL for a new Airdrie FC to play in the Third Division next season."

The Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Airdrie's stadium is still up for grabs
While killing the old name does not end the possibility of a new senior club emerging in Airdrie, any new applicant will have to do without the sentimental pull of the old moniker.

They will now face opposition from a host of established clubs from non-SFL football when appliations close on Friday.

Ballantyne told BBC Scotland that he is confident that a senior team will be playing at the Excelsior Stadium next season, minus the Airdrieonians name.

He also has an arrangement to share Cliftonhill Stadium with near neighbours Albion Rovers.

The Third Division club have already considered a move away from their ramshackle ground in Coatbridge to share the Excelsior Stadium.

It had also been suggested that Scottish champions Celtic could be interested in buying the stadium for use as a training ground.

But the council stresses that it is standing by its commitment to retain the stadium as the home ground of a senior club.

See also:

16 May 02 | Scotland
10 May 02 | Football
09 May 02 | Football
02 May 02 | Scotland
01 May 02 | Airdrieonians
01 May 02 | Scotland
Links to more Airdrieonians stories are at the foot of the page.


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