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Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie (New Broomfield)

This is the Excelsior Stadium,* home of Airdrie United FC (or, as some of us like to remember them, Clydebank.)

Main entrance to Airdrie United’s stadium. (Stitch of two photos.)

Excelsior Stadium, Main Stand

It’s a tidy ground but a bit soulless. The capacity is way above what Airdrie can attract as a crowd.

This is the view of the ground from the east car park.

New Broomfield, Airdrie (Excelsior Stadium)

Main Stand from East Stand

Excelsior Stadium, Main Stand from east

AFC crest at back of main stand.

AFC Crest

The North Stand:-

North Stand from east, New Broomfield.

Its main purpose, like its mirror image to the south (both are rarely, if ever, occupied) is to house an electronic scoreboard.

*So why New Broomfield?

Broomfield was the home of Airdrieonians FC who shortly before their demise moved to New Broomfield or, as it was known then for some sponsorship reason, the Shyberry Excelsior Stadium.

Broomfield was an idiosyncratic ground which had an old pavilion.

Broomfield

Compare Fulham’s Craven Cottage.

The reincarnation of a football team in Airdrie (Airdrieonians went defunct in 2002) was due to the fact that a local businessman, after failing to achieve election to the SFL with his new entity Airdrie United, took over the ailing Clydebank FC and moved it lock, stock and players to Airdrie, thereby effectively killing off the team who had been for 37 years Dumbarton’s local rivals.

Hello! Hello! We Are The Bully Boys

I heard Gordon Strachan on the news the other day referring to the Rangers situation. He said something along the lines of, “How can you let a club which all those players and managers have put so much into, with so much proud history, go to the wall? It wouldn’t be right.”

Well, Gordon. Airdrieonians were a club that players and managers had put a lot into and had a proud history – four Scottish Cup finals among that. They went to the wall.

The third Clydebank FC died as a result of Airdrieonians demise as they were taken over and moved to Airdrie to become Airdrie United. Lots of players and managers and maybe not so proud a history, but they did make it into the Premier Division and reached a Scottish Cup semi as a second tier team. Their fans were powerless to prevent the takeover but did set up a junior team.

Third Lanark were a club that players and managers had put a lot into and had an undeniably proud history – including a League Championship and two Scottish Cup wins. No one acted to save them.

Going further back St Bernard’s have a Scottish Cup win to their credit and ultimately went out of business due only to the untimely death of their main benefactor. No one helped them.

Was it right that these clubs were allowed to die, Gordon? Just because they were smaller clubs doesn’t mean their fans were any less passionate about them. Just because Rangers have a large following does not mean they should be extended concessions those clubs were not.

Gretna FC’s story is more akin to that of Rangers. Grossly overspending and over-reachinbg themselves they had to be bailed out to the end of their only SPL season and were then punted. They had a Scottish Cup final along the way, though, if that was something they could be proud of considering how they achieved it.

And as for Sandy Jardine’s vainglorious statement about Rangers fans taking action against other clubs this reminded me of the playground bully and is exactly the sort of thing we real football fans (as opposed to glory hunters) have come to expect from the institution that he is trying to defend. Sandy; you’ve done the crime, now do the time. Take your punishment like a man. At the least, this should mean expulsion from the SPL.

To those real fans of Rangers who recognise their club is in the wrong here and that its behaviour cannot be condoned nor encouraged in the future by any holding back of sanctions now, I offer my condolences and my apologies for the intemperate nature of the previous paragraph.

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