Raith Rovers’ chief executive Eric Drysdale has insisted the decision to move home fans from their usual seats in the main stand at Stark’s Park to accommodate Rangers supporters was not taken lightly but had to be done for sound financial reasons.
The Kirkcaldy club recently wrote to the fans who have season tickets for the Turnbull Hutton (main stand) that for the match against the title-chasing Glasgow side a week on Saturday, they would be moved to seats in the South Stand.
Rovers apologised for the inconvenience but explained to their loyal support that with the club stretched from a cash-flow perspective, it was something that had to be done to maximise revenues.
St Mirren announced a similar move recently for their game against Rangers on the final day of the season, a decision that sparked a furious response from Buddies fans that led to the club apologising and offering punters a reduction on season tickets.
However, the Raith fans appear to be more pragmatic with only minimal opposition to giving the main stand to the Rangers fans.
Drysdale explained: “We wrote to the 200-odd fans who have season tickets for the main stand saying they were going to be moved to the South Stand for one game only.
“Of that number, three have felt strongly enough and were sufficiently upset to write to us.
“We wish the decision wasn’t necessary but it was taken for sound business reasons.
“That has been demonstrated by the fact that we have now nearly sold out the main stand to Rangers fans and there should now be more than 5,000 of their supporters at the game and hopefully more than 7,000 in total.
“This was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly but it was one we felt we had to make as we explained in the letter.
“Sadly, we cannot fill the main stand ourselves so it made strong financial sense to use it to sell 1,400 tickets at £22 each to the Rangers support.
“We have had substantial and unexpected player medical bills to pay this season and crowds have not been great.
“We understand that moving fans from their usual seats will put people out but we ask for their understanding as to why we had to take this opportunity.”
Raith hope that the game, which will not be shown live on TV, will be a sell-out and Rovers fans can still buy briefs on weekdays between 9am and 4pm from the Stark’s Park ticket office or by phoning 01592 263514 (option 6) same hours.
No tickets will be on sale on match day.