Rossvale fear for their future over Huntershill issue

Junior side Rossvale claim they may be forced to fold if the new £7.9 million Huntershill complex doesn't meet junior football criteria.
Rossvale fear the new Huntershill complex will not meet the requirements of junior football bosses.Rossvale fear the new Huntershill complex will not meet the requirements of junior football bosses.
Rossvale fear the new Huntershill complex will not meet the requirements of junior football bosses.

The Bishopbriggs club are concerned that the complex’s arrangements for spectator access won’t conform to Scottish Junior Football Association requirements.

In a letter to councillors, club secretary Andrew Sandilands says Rossvale’s repeated concerns over the complex had not been addressed by East Dunbartonshire Council.

And he warned: “It is now becoming a worrying time for Rossvale Juniors FC that we may have to disband if our club are not going to be taken seriously by the council members and answer our questions.

Rossvale say that for their requirements the complex needs a supporters’ barrier and hard standing area around or at least down the sides of the pitch.

He said: “We are not asking much other than the complex to be completed to a standard which would be accepted by the Scottish Junior Football Association which has strong conditions regarding the supporters barrier.

“The barrier and hard standing are there in the main, to protect the turf from damage and contamination from spectators crossing the pitch. It will be anticipated that up to 150 spectators will be on the pitch every Saturday with unsuitable shoes which may damage the very expensive carpet, as they watch their kids play seven a side and eleven a side.”

The complex, being developed by the council, in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust, is aimed at a wide variety of sports clubs and includes a new changing pavilion, 3G floodlit sports pitch, six-lane running track, three tennis courts, upgraded sports pitches, access road, fencing and parking.

Although Rossvale’s age group teams have been able to play at the existing Huntershill facility, the flagship junior team has been renting Petershill Park for home games since its formation six years ago.

Mr Sandilands said: “We are presently paying in region of £300 per home game to Glasgow Life which we find extremely hard to do for the use of Petershill Park and it is imperative that we move back to Bishopbriggs to bring in local people to support the club for if we don’t then financially we would have to seriously consider folding the team because this outgoing is crippling the club.

“It would be the only senior semi pro team to play in Bishopbriggs and if we have to fold due to questions not being answered and followed up then it will be a massive embarrassment to the council and their £7.9m investment.”

In addition to the spectator issue the club is also thought to have concerns over parking, dressing room size and height of perimeter fencing at Huntershill.

Rossvale president Ian Grey was due to meet EDLC representatives this week to discuss the club’s concerns.

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said: “The Council and East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust work to support a range of sporting clubs and organisations in our local communities, including Rossvale FC. We are meeting with Mr Grey to discuss concerns and ways we can continue to work with Rossvale in future.

“We are not creating a junior football venue - Huntershill will be a new multi-sports facility to serve the local community, incorporating a community sports hub - aimed at sharing expertise and resources among different sporting organisations.”

The sports pavilion building - comprising 10 changing rooms, recreation hall and more - was recently ‘topped out’.

Council development and regeneration convener Councillor Alan Moir said: “This is going to be a first-class facility for people and sporting groups of all ages and abilities.”