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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 12:48 UK

Cowdenbeath reach out to Spartans

Central Park, home of Cowdenbeath FC
Central Park needs upgraded to meet Scottish FA licensing requirements

By Jim Spence

Spartans have confirmed that they have held talks with Cowdenbeath, concerning the difficulties facing the cash-strapped Second Division side.

BBC Scotland has learned the East of Scotland outfit could acquire the Fife club's shares with the aim of playing in the Scottish Football League.

However, one of Cowdenbeath's majority shareholder's, David Brewster, is denying all talk of a merger.

He said the club was merely exploring a possible ground-share with Spartans.

Brewster told BBC Scotland that Cowdenbeath have written to four clubs - Spartans, Dunfermline, East Fife and Raith Rovers - about the possibility of renting their stadiums.

It is believed it would cost more than £200,000 to upgrade Central Park to meet Scottish FA licensing standards.

And Brewster said the board cannot afford the improvements required.

Stock car racing is currently subsidising the football club, which is thought to be losing substantial sums of money.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

A statement from Spartans read: "The owners of Cowdenbeath, the Brewster brothers, approached Spartans and a number of other clubs to explore how they resolve the challenges they have.

"In particular their Central Park ground does not comply with the SFA Licence requirements and the club has insufficient income to invest in the required upgrading. We understand the Brewsters are now exploring their options with the SFL."

The terms of any agreement to sell Cowdenbeath's shares would see the Fife club's name disappear and, if the SFL give permission for the move to a new ground, it would effectively allow Spartans to enter the senior ranks after previous unsuccessful attempts.

A meeting of the Cowdenbeath Supporters' Trust will be held after Tuesday night's match at Central Park against Stirling Albion to discuss the situation.

Cowdenbeath shareholder and trust member Mel Dougray told BBC Scotland: "It is scandalous that a club formed in 1881 is going to be sold for the benefit of corporate greed.

"We are going to have to see a lawyer about this. There is an appetite to fight to stop it but I can't see the club surviving."

Cowdenbeath, known as the Blue Brazil, are enjoying a good season, sitting six points behind Second Division leaders Alloa, having played a game less.

Spartans, formed by former Edinburgh University students, have been playing in the East of Scotland League since 1951 and are full members of the Scottish Football Association.

Currently well clear at the top of their division, Spartans, who moved to the new Ainslie Park Stadium this season, can boast a fine record in the Scottish Cup, having taken a few SFL scalps to twice reach the last 16 of the competition.

Spartans' most recent bid to reach SFL level was thwarted in July 2008, when Annan Athletic won the right to replace Gretna, who went out of business following their relegation from the Scottish Premier League.



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see also
Cowdenbeath A-A Stirling Albion
30 Mar 10 |  Scottish League
Stirling Albion 1-0 Cowdenbeath
27 Mar 10 |  Scottish League
Annan voted into Scottish league
03 Jul 08 |  Scottish League
Spartans seek a shot at the SFL
01 Jul 08 |  Scottish League
Spartans receive community award
27 Jun 08 |  Scotland


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