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Brora Rangers chairman William Powrie confident SPFL will give green light to pyramid play-offs

Brora Rangers chairman William Powrie.
Brora Rangers chairman William Powrie.

Brora Rangers chairman William Powrie remains optimistic his side will get the chance to compete in the pyramid play-offs.

The SPFL released a statement on Friday saying they were unable to confirm dates for the pyramid play-off at this stage.

The decision has been delayed until Monday April 19, when the first leg of the play-off is due to be played five days later.

While admitting time is running out on making a decision, Powrie believes the league board will reach a satisfactory outcome.

He said: “We have every confidence that the SPFL will confirm the pyramid play-offs, both between ourselves and Kelty Hearts and the winner of that playing Team 42 in the SPFL.

“Clearly we both need to know that there is opposition awaiting the winner of our tie.

“We haven’t had any dialogue with the SPFL. They sent out a questionnaire to both ourselves, regarding what I would call due-diligence enquiries on the positions of the challenger clubs. It was quite comprehensive and something we didn’t get when we played Montrose a few years ago in the play-off.

“I don’t take that as a negative, I take it as a positive they are wanting to ensure any club meets their criteria before entry.

“Time does run out. As every day goes by it’s one day less. From a board perspective, there’s lots of planning to do and we’d be absolutely devastated if that potential rug was pulled from under our feet for the second successive season.”

Brechin City chairman Ken Ferguson resigned from the SPFL board ahead of the meeting, to devote “time and energy into ensuring that Brechin City do not finish bottom of League 2”. The Glebe Park side are six points adrift at the foot of League Two, with seven games to go, and would face either Brora or Kelty Hearts in the play-off.

The league’s governing body are considering a “number of uncertainties”, including whether League Two teams complete their allotted 22 games and if Brora and Kelty meet the SPFL’s membership criteria. Both sides were declared champions on a points-per-game basis, after managing only three and 13 games respectively.

Brora players celebrate at full-time following their victory over Hearts.

Powrie was surprised to see queries raised about the ownership of their ground, Dudgeon Park, in national media reports, given they had submitted all the necessary paperwork to the SPFL.

He added: “There were some queries that came out that they were concerned about the status of the ground at Brora, which baffles me really. We’ve already sent them the title deeds, plus our constitution and the extract from the land registry.

“There is no dubiety about the ownership of the ground. It was gifted to us by the Duchess of Sutherland in 1969. I don’t think they will find anything untoward with the information we’ve provided them.”

Brora resumed training at the weekend after being given the go-ahead by the Scottish FA. They played two games in the Scottish Cup, against Hearts and Stranraer, whereas Kelty have not played since January 9.

Both sides were declared champions of their respective leagues for the 2019-20 season before the campaign was curtailed and the play-offs scrapped. At that stage, Brechin were again the bottom side in League Two.

Powrie said: “We remain in contact with Kelty on a daily basis. They’re equally as concerned and frustrated as ourselves and want resolution to this.”

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