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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 16:46 UK

Gretna demoted to Division Three


Gretna will play in Scottish Division Three next season, if they still exist then, after the Scottish Football League relegated them two divisions.

The team were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season after going into administration and have since laid off all staff.

At the league's agm, administrator David Elliot could not guarantee they will fulfil their fixtures next season.

As a result, they have now been sent down an additional two levels.


Consequently, Airdrie United will step up to Division One and Stranraer get a place in Division Two.

Gretna now have less than a week to escape expulsion from the league altogether as officials will not accept the continuing status as a club in administration.

The SFL wants any takeover to be completed by the early part of next week or they will invite applicants to replace the stricken club.

A consortium is known to be interested in the club, but it is not expected to complete a deal in time.

"That remains to be seen," said SFL chief executive David Longmuir.

"But we and the SFL had to make sure we protected the integrity of our league."

Gretna only entered the Scottish League structure in 2002 and completed a hat-trick of title victories in 2007 to complete an astonishing rise to the Premier League.

But, since then, things have gone horribly wrong for the club.

Airdrie and Stranraer lost out in their respective play-off finals but have now been promoted.

Airdrie United boss Kenny Black said: "I have sympathy with the people at Gretna, the players, the staff and the fans. But the SFL gave them as long as they could.

"Somebody up there likes us. We haven't had much luck recently, so I'm delighted.

"We would like to have gone up as champions, but we were fortunate enough to take advantage of this situation."

see also
Offer for Gretna being examined
22 May 08 |  Gretna
Gretna FC debt level almost 4m
23 Apr 08 |  South of Scotland
Gretna edging closer to closure
13 Mar 08 |  Gretna
Gretna owner Mileson in hospital
12 Feb 08 |  South of Scotland

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