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Thursday, 11 July, 2002, 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK
Bankies accept their demise
There will be no more celebrations for Clydebank
Clydebank fans have accepted defeat in their battle to keep their club alive in Scottish senior football.

United Clydebank Supporters spokesman David Munro told BBC Sport Online: "I have today, with great sadness, signed the final piece of paperwork necessary to complete the sale of the club to Airdrie United.

"We had considered taking out an injuction against the administrators, PKF, but they had taken out a caveat against that.

"So we felt that, with Airdrie United having given the go ahead by the Scottish Football League and being included in today's Challenge Cup draw, we were simply delaying the inevitable."


We've shaken hands on deals with several players
Airdrie Utd's Sandy Stewart
Clydebank holding company Riverbank would have preferred to sell to a group wanting to keep Clydebank alive.

And PKF had given the UCS group headed by former Clydebank general manager Mick Oliver until Monday to match the takeover bid from Airdrie United.

They fell just short, although Munro believes that an earlier agreement by the holding company that it would accept any offer higher than 160,000 meant that the administrator was not legally bound to accept the largest bid.

He also feels let down by John Hall, claiming that Clydebank's present owner turned down the chance to make up the difference between the two bids and therefore keep his club alive in the Scottish Second Division.

UCS was meeting on Thursday night to decide whether to keep a football club going in the amateur or junior ranks.

"If any set of fans deserve a club it is Clydebank's," said Munro. "They have conducted themselves with dignity throughout all this."

Administrator Bryan Jackson expects the formalities of the sale to the group headed by Airdrie United chairman Jim Ballantyne to be completed within 10 days.

The club name will be changed from Clydebank and play at the former ground of now liquidated Airdrieonians.

Airdrie United chairman Jim Ballantyne
Jim Ballantyne appears to have won the battle
That too will have a name change from the Excelsior Stadium to New Broomfield Stadium.

Airdrie United player-manager Sandy Stewart faces a race against time to assemble a part-time squad before the new club's first game on 3 August.

"We can't actually sign any players just now because officially we haven't got the league contract," he said.

"We've shaken hands on deals with several players. But, in terms of a full squad, we're nowhere near that yet.

"But that will definitely be sorted. That's my job, along with Brian Rice, and that will be in place by the time we play our first game.

"We'll have a squad in place that I feel is good enough for the Second Division by the first game of the season."


A tale of woe

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10 Jul 02 | Scotland
09 Jul 02 | Scotland
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