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East End Park, Dunfermline

Dumbarton are due to play at East End Park, home of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, on the 23rd, a week today. We last played there on Jan 5th when I took these photos.

The Pars, as they are known, are in financial trouble; so take a good look at these as they may become historical curios.

East End Park, Dunfermline, From North

Yes, there’s a cemetery over the wall from the ground. This is a stitch of two photos to get the whole ground in.

East End Park from Halbeath Road
From Halbeath Road.

East Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline.

East Stand. Not used, except for big matches. (Celtic and Rangers, then, or when the Pars play a decider against Raith Rovers. So not often.)

West (Norrie McCathie) Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline
Norrie McCathie Stand (West Stand; at far end.) Named for a former player. Home support.

North Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline
North Stand. Home support here too. (The cemetery is behind it.)

Main Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline, from away section
Main Stand. Away support in foreground, home support in bulk of stand.

Administering Rangers

Whatever the temptations to paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s comment about the death of Little Nell in Charles Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop (“One would have to have a heart of stone….(not to)…dissolv(e)…into tears…of laughter.”) when thinking about the administration of Rangers FC I nevertheless do feel for the genuine fans of that club. Not the hangers-on, not the glory hunters who desert at the first sign of adversity on the field, but those who have a long and deep connection – perhaps going back generations in their family.

There does, however, have to be a tinge of schadenfreude. After all, this is a club that, along with its great rival, has parleyed their mutual financial muscle into an effectively unchallenged dual hegemony, ruthlessly bought promising players from their competitors in the SPL (and before that the Scottish League as was) and buried them in their reserves to prevent any threat to their domination, pushed through changes that ensured they would receive much more than the lion’s share of any monies coming into Scottish football, perenially exercised undue influence on the governing body and (without even a nod and a wink nor anything direct, merely by their outsized prominence) on the referees who supervise their games. That such a club has been brought low by financial problems (in a misguided attempt to match those whom they regarded as their peers but were in fact always their superiors) could be regarded as karma.

I have no sympathy whatever for those in charge of the club – now and in the past – who ought to have known better: none of whom I hope will derive any financial benefit from the present state of affairs. Compounding their failures in regard to their own club – what amounted to in effect cheating their opponents – £80,000 is said to be owing to Dunfermline Athletic for tickets sold by Rangers on their behalf for Saturday’s upcoming game with a similar amount due to Dundee United for a previous away match, with Inverness Caledonian Thistle also unpaid. Hearts are owed £700,000 for a transfer fee. These are moneys the Pars in particular and Hearts with their recent difficulties could well be doing with. (Not to mention us all by way of the taxman.)

That Scottish football as a whole would be better off (in a competitive sense) without the Old Firm is probably the case but it would be in an even direr state than now were only one of these giants to remain.

And yet…. I do not wish to see the demise of anyone’s football club – even such an overblown leviathan as Rangers; even if I cannot feel that followers of Rangers know what it truly means to be a supporter (of which they may have the merest inkling now.)

The best outcome would be for the club to survive, to live within its means, and for its management (at board level) and fans not to be so greedy (for money/honours respectively.)

That’s never going to happen.

PS. I was amused that Celtic took umbrage at First Minister Alex Salmond’s comment about them finding it difficult to prosper if Rangers were to go under. Chip on the shoulder or what? Without the rivalry to sustain them wouldn’t Celtic’s fans soon grow tired of an endless series of mismatches? They might well drift away. At least at the moment there are four domestic games every season where there may be the possibility of referees being biased against them. (That last sentence was sarcasm by the way.)

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