Fan owned clubs, Stirling Albion and Cliftonville go head to head this Saturday in the second annual Ladbrokes Supporters’ Cup at Doubletree Dunblane Stadium.
The Northern Irish side beat FC United of Manchester in last year’s inaugural hosting of the competition and now manager, Tommy Breslin takes his side to Scotland to play in what has been dubbed as the country’s first fan owned ‘home international.’
Breslin is a big advocate of such a unique structure and believes it is crucial in sustaining the sport.
He said: “It’s vital in making sure clubs survive. Without the fans the game is nothing. After the players the fans are the most important thing in a football club.
“The fans run the club at Cliftonville from top to bottom; they’re involved with all the major decisions. It truly is a community club and the board will make decisions that benefit the local community, such as the purchasing of an artificial pitch. It’s fantastic to have the community totally involved with the club.”
Binos boss, Jocky Scott is also looking forward to the tie, although the former Dundee manager has his eye on the start of the season.
Scott said: “There’s obviously a bit of an incentive to win the game but at the end of the day it’s a pre-season game and will serve as preparation for the Deveronvale game a week later. But it will be test for us and we look forward to it.”
Kick off at Doubletree Dunblane Stadium this Saturday is 3pm and both clubs are eager for a good turnout not just to show support for their respective clubs but to display their backing to a concept that has the rest of Scottish football taking note.
Written by Graham Ruthven