Falkirk warn relegation from SPL would cost club £2m
Ritchie warns of finance danger should Falkirk be relegated
By Brian McLauchlin
Relegation to the First Division would cost Falkirk £2m, the club's chairman has told BBC Scotland.
Falkirk must beat Kilmarnock on Saturday to remain in the Scottish Premier League and send Killie down.
And Bairns chairman Martin Ritchie said the implications of losing their place in the top flight would be significant.
"Clearly, in going down the income would be falling off a cliff," he said. "It would drop between £1.5m to £2m. Everything's affected in some way."
Ritchie said Falkirk could count on a good infrastructure and youth academy, if they were relegated.
"There would be some places where we would have to tighten our belts and make some changes," he added.
"It's a big jump and, given football clubs don't start in a very profitable position, you really have to find ways of actually saving almost all of that cash.
If teams go down and they don't think there's a realistic chance of getting up in one or two years, you've got to really cut back
Falkirk chairman Martin Ritchie
"You're almost having half the income; it means you are paying players less, perhaps using more young players as you've got a smaller squad of players.
"Unfortunately it also means you cant afford a lot of the other infrastructure, that you have to build up to be in the SPL, when you drop down to the Scottish Football League."
Falkirk avoided relegation to the First Division on the final day of last season, beating Inverness CT to send the Highland club down in the process.
"It was a nightmare last year, even though we came out well," said Ritchie. "I just hope we have the same nightmare tomorrow.
"It's been a very difficult season and it's very hard when you're at the bottom of near the bottom because we're trying to play catch-up all the time; that's taken its toll."
Ritchie said league reconstruction was vital to the future success of Scottish football.
"My main argument is we need more opportunity for promotion," he added. "If that means more relegation then you need to have a bigger league, as you can't have two or three teams relegated from a league of 12.
"But, if teams go down and they don't think there's a realistic chance of getting up in one or two years, you've got to really cut back.
"Inverness have done what I thought was impossible: to go down and come straight back up."
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