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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 15:29 GMT
Falkirk consider Airdrie switch
Falkirk could be set to lease the home of Airdrie United in a bid to earn a place in the Scottish Premier League.

The First Division leaders are on course to win the title but will be denied a place in the top flight as their Brockville home does not meet SPL requirements.

But the club have now opened discussions with the Dudley Group, who are attempting to buy the New Broomfield Stadium from liquidators KPMG and North Lanarkshire Council.

The 6.5m ground has been up for sale in a cut-price 1m deal since Airdrie went bust last year.

A Dudley Group spokesman told the Scottish Daily Express: "We can confirm that we have spoken to representatives from Falkirk FC with a view to them leasing the ground from us. Those talks are on-going."

Current SPL rules insist no club can ground-share, although leasing the Lanarkshire stadium is an option open to Falkirk chairman Campbell Christie.

We are looking at various options needed to meet the Premier League's criteria
Falkirk chairman Campbell Christie
A lease agreement would need to be voted on by SPL clubs but the Brockville supremo maintains any talks with the Dudley Group are merely the club exploring their options.

Christie said: "We are looking at various options that could provide us with the stadium and other requirements needed to meet the Premier League's criteria ahead of the March deadline."

BBC Scotland understands the deal will only be short-term until Falkirk's new ground in the Westfield area is completed next season.

Former Bairns boss Ian McCall quit the First Division leaders last month citing a lack of progress with a new ground as a reason for his departure to Dundee United, who are currently bottom of the SPL.

United and Motherwell assumed there would be no relegation because Falkirk's dilapidated home doesn't meet SPL criteria.

But the SPL confirmed that any ground-leasing arrangement would need to be voted on, with a simple 7/5 majority seeing the resolution passed.

A spokesman said: "If a club don't own the rights of their stadium, either directly or through a subsidiary or holding company, then our members would have to take a vote on it."

However, North Lanarkshire Council may still want Airdrie United to play their home matches at New Broomfield which would again breach SPL groundshare rules.

Links to more Falkirk stories


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