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1:54:49 PM

Gretna 'no longer in existence'

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Administrators feel Gretna no longer exists as a football club

Administrators at Gretna FC have said they feel the Raydale Park side has ceased to exist as a football club.

The only interested party in taking over the team has withdrawn its offer.

David Elliot from administrators Wilson Field said he expected the Scottish Football League to expel the side within a "matter of days".

He has concluded that the club could not continue as a business and would be unable to guarantee it could complete league fixtures next year.

Gretna went into administration in March this year with debts of about £4m after backer Brooks Mileson withdrew his support.

Last week the SFL relegated the club to Division Three.

Mr Elliot said he would now look to market the Raydale Park ground "outside football".

"I had one offer on the table which I decided at that late stage I would pursue," he explained.

"The prospective purchaser had produced a business plan based on First Division football and so he has formally withdrawn his offer.

"Effectively we are still technically in the Third Division but I can't complete fixtures next season."

He said he had informed the SFL of that situation and expected them to expel the club soon.

Financial mess

"The problem with this club is it started off in 1946 with a group of ex-servicemen coming back from World War Two setting up a village football team," said Mr Elliot.

"Then a few years ago Mr Mileson took over and injected a lot of money into the club and it enjoyed a lot of success on the football pitch.

"But if you take away the benefactor - the person supplying the money - then financially you have a real mess."

A number of clubs have already expressed an interest in taking their place in Division Three.

Spartans, Annan Athletic, Preston Athletic and Cove Rangers are all preparing applications for their spot.

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