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Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 18:21 GMT
Falkirk stadium hopes boost
Brockville Stadium - the current home of Falkirk F.C
Brockville Stadium, the current home of Falkirk F.C
Campaigners for a new football stadium in Falkirk are claiming victory after an agreement which should see construction beginning before the end of March next year.

After extended wrangling, the deal has been prompted by the forthcoming by-election in Falkirk West.

George Craig of the Back the Bairns campaign had intended to contest the by-election - but has now withdrawn.

His move came after he obtained support for a memorandum of agreement setting out a detailed plan for a new stadium in the Westfield area to replace the crumbling Brockville.

The plan has been backed by the club, the local authority and politicians including other candidates in the by-election.

Dilapidated

The dilapidated state of Brockville cost the Bairns a chance of promotion into the Premier League last season.

Having finished third in the First Division, Falkirk should have entered into a play-off with Dunfermline, who were second, and Aberdeen, who finished bottom of the SPL, but were denied the opportunity because they could not meet the 10,000 all-seated stadium criteria established by the SPL.

Falkirk suffered a similar fate in the 1998-99 season when they were runners-up in the First Division.

They received a 250,000 pay-off by way of compensation on that occasion, but were not eligible for any financial reparation last season.

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