Nov 30 2011 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
JIM BALLANTYNE says a dispute with the gambling industry will cost Airdrie and Albion Rovers thousands of pounds.
The Diamonds chairman believes clubs like his could be up to £20,000 out of pocket this season.
Bookmakers are taking a case regarding the copyright of fixture lists to the European Court of Justice.
The gambling industry have paid for access to these lists but this year decided to retain the cash despite losing the battle in the High Court.
A verdict is unlikely to be delivered soon meaning clubs in the SFL have been warned to expect less in prize money.
And Ballantyne admits the legal wrangle could not have come at a worse time.
He told Advertiser Sport: “This is going to be a tough, tough year for all of the SFL clubs.
“And with some of the betting companies withdrawing their money in lieu of this court case, cashflow hasn’t been made easier.
“It is going to be the tightest year ever given that we will all be suffering from an income reduction.
“They just wrote to us and said we wouldn’t be receiving the money. This is money clubs, and the game in general, can’t afford to lose.”
Meanwhile, Ballantyne remains sceptical at the thought of a non-league pyramid system being set-up beneath the Third Division.
And the New Broomfield supremo also scoffed at the idea of a British Cup.
He added: “The SFL does not have the funding to support a pyramid system – but we are open to discussing it as and when someone comes up with the correct structure.
“We’ll see if there is a demand for it. It costs a lot to run a senior professional football club.
“I found the [British Cup] story strange. I don’t think there is any demand among supporters for a competition like this, other than maybe those who follow Rangers and Celtic.”
*AIRDRIE will travel to bottom of the table Stirling Albion this weekend for their latest Irn-Bru Second Division fixture.
The Diamonds are without a win in six matches with the Binos looking to snap a six-game losing streak.
*THIS week’s Airdrie United lottery numbers are as follows: 9, 10, 15 and 18.
The draw is sponsored by All Waste Recycling & Hire Ltd of Carlisle Road, Airdrie.
*AIRDRIE have signed promising young defender Kyle Nicoll on a two-year contract.
The left-sided 17-year-old is a member of the club’s under-19 squad and is highly-rated by first-team manager Jimmy Boyle.