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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 14:18 GMT
Falkirk to share ground
Mark Kerr celebrates scoring against St Mirren
Falkirk are riding high at the top of Division One
Falkirk FC are set to start talks with both Airdrie United and Clyde about sharing their grounds for the start of next season.

But it is unlikely to be a move that will prevent the Bairns being promoted even if they win the First Division title.

Scottish Premier League rules prevent ground sharing and it appears that Falkirk have all but given up hope of challenging the regulations set in place by the top 12 clubs.

Falkirk had threatened court action, claiming that SPL rules were a restrictive practice.

Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium
Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium is being considered
The First Division's joint leaders have told BBC Scotland that tenders for their new ground, to be built at Westfield, are due in by 17 January.

They expect building work on their new stadium to start in March, with a 35-week schedule for completion.

With their present Brockville ground being sold for development to finance the deal, Falkirk will therefore need a new home for the opening months of next season.

Sharing nearby Second Division Stenhousemuir's Ochilview had been investigated.

But Falkirk would have had to finance building works there to expand the ground to cope with First Division crowds.

Falkirk-based Third Division outfit East Stirlingshire also could not cope at Firs Park.

It appears that Falkirk's preferred option is Clyde's Broadwood Stadium, which is closer to Falkirk than the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.

Action at Clyde's Broadwood Stadium
Clyde's Broadwood is the favoured option
But both options will be considered, taking into account travelling distance and hospitality facilities for their fans, before arriving at a decision.

Airdrieonians ground-shared at Broadwood before moving to the new stadium that contributed to their liquidation last summer.

Falkirk are confident that their ground-share arrangement should only be until the end of this year.

They expect to be in their new all-seated ground, which will be built in two phases, with a final capacity of 10,800, by the start of 2004.

This would see Falkirk meet the stadium criteria for entry to the SPL for season 2004.

The first phase, of east and west stands, would give a capacity of 7,500.

See also:

29 Dec 02 | Scotland
30 Oct 02 | Falkirk
Links to more Falkirk stories are at the foot of the page.


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