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Caley Thistle chairman confirms club will remain full-time despite relegation to League One

"Devastated" Ross Morrison issues statement after Inverness are relegated from the Championship.

Ross Morrison. Image: SNS
Ross Morrison. Image: SNS

Relegated Caley Thistle will remain full-time in League One as chairman Ross Morrison called for unity as crunch boardroom talks continue this week.

The club’s board have met this week as they prepare for life in the third tier following Saturday’s play-off final defeat against Hamilton Accies.

On Tuesday night, the Caley Jags, who were Scottish Cup winners nine years ago, issued the following statement from Morrison on behalf of the board.

It said: “This past weekend has been hugely disappointing for everyone associated with the club, and we were all totally devastated.

“Ultimately our results over the entire season, particularly at home, were simply not good enough and we must now reflect on the lessons learned from this season and start to prepare for the challenges ahead in League One.

“The goal of everyone at the Caledonian Stadium is to return to the Championship as soon as possible.

“At the same time, we must continue to focus on the long-term stability and development of the club both on and off the pitch, to ensure our sustainability.

“We have been working for a number of weeks on a comprehensive restructuring plan for what we believe is the best way forward for ICTFC, details of which will be announced in the next few days, but following last night’s board meeting, I can confirm that the club will remain full-time next season and I thank everyone in advance for showing some patience as we make sure that plan is finalised.”

Failure arrived ‘brutally’ on Saturday

Morrison had a further message for ICT’s fantastic support as they come to terms with a drop down a division.

He added: “I believe that while the events of the weekend were distressing for all of us, now is the time to demonstrate unity.

“In football, it is inevitable that failure will visit every club at some time across the years but when it arrives as brutally as it did for us last week, it is important that we take the extra day or two in order to make the correct decisions so that we emerge stronger.

“We cannot thank our fans enough for the fantastic support they have given the team, both at home and away, throughout the season.

“Your commitment to the club is an inspiration and one of the foundations that will support us going forward.

“Once again, we would like to thank you all for your continued and valued support and hope you will remain with us on the next part of the club’s journey.”

The Caledonian Stadium in Inverness will host League One football from August. image: SNS

Inverness and Queen’s stay full-time

Remaining full-time means Caley Thistle and Queen of the South would be the only two full-time sides in League One, while Cove Rangers operate a hybrid model of full-time and part-time players.

Arbroath, who went down as the basement team in the Championship last month, are returning to part-time status under their manager Jim McIntyre.

Inverness are also exploring the potential to secure much-needed cash through stadium – or at least a stand – sponsorship at the Caledonian Stadium.

Inverness fans take to the pitch to protest against the board at full-time after the Championship play-off second leg defeat to Hamilton which sealed their club’s relegation. Image: SNS.

Accies took ICT’s Championship spot

Caley Thistle finished ninth in the Championship, one point behind Queen’s Park and just three points adrift of Morton.

They defeated Montrose 1-0 in the play-off semi-final but fell to a 5-3 aggregate defeat against John Rankin’s Accies, who take their place in the Championship – one year after they fell into League One via the play-offs.

It’s understood a meeting took place on Tuesday to discuss with non-playing staff the impact of relegation on their roles.