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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Falkirk stadium gets green light
Falkirk chairman Campbell Christie
Campbell Christie stands proud in front of the new stand
Falkirk have received a safety certificate for their new North Stand, which means they now have a stadium that will allow promotion this season.

And club chairman Campbell Christie believes that the Division One leaders will establish themselves as fixtures in the Scottish Premier League.

"Inverness, Dunfermline, Livingston and Killie are no bigger than us," he said.

"If we can establish ourselves, 6,100 seats will not be big enough for us and we will look to expand the ground."

Falkirk, runners-up in the two previous seasons, were denied promotion in 2002-3 when they won the First Division but the SPL rejected their proposal to share Airdrie United's New Broomfield Stadium.

Christie's club spent the next season still in the First Division and sharing with Stenhousemuir at Ochilview after their former home, Brockville, was sold for a supermarket.
We have moved from that difficult situation and endured several seasons of frustration
Falkirk chairman Campbell Christie

Falkirk started the present season with one stand completed in their new stadium and the second received its certificate just in time to meet the SPL's 31 March deadline for a 6,000-seat stadium to be in place.

"It is very satisfactory to see the new stand completed," he told BBC Sport.

"For the first time ever, Falkirk Football Club has an SPL-compliant stadium, so it means that, if we win the First Division, we will get promoted.

"The contractors were always confident that we would meet the deadline. But, like all construction work, there was a last-minute rush.

"People forget that this club was in provisional liquidation in 1997 and we have moved from that difficult situation and endured several seasons of frustration.

"Now, it is onwards and upwards for Falkirk Football Club."

The new-look Falkirk Stadium will be L-shaped, with its two stands for next season, but it is planned to eventually have four seating areas in place, with a capacity of around 10,000.

Christie paid particular tribute to stadium partners Falkirk Council.

He hoped that the local authority would also be able to overcome the problem of receiving permission to build on the side of the ground that comes within the BP oil refinery blast zone.

"We hope to be filling this ground every week in the SPL, so it is still be decided whether we will keep the temporary stand in the south of the ground, as that would bring the capacity to above 7,000," added Christie.

Falkirk sit 11 points clear of Clyde at the top of Division One with six games of the season remaining.

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