Rangers need to ‘step back to move forward’
Berwick Rangers’ chairman-elect John Bell says the club has to ‘take a step back to move forward again’ after losing their Scottish League status.
Bell, who is set to be appointed chairman at the forthcoming annual general meeting, confirmed the club will play in the Lowland League next season after losing their play-off matches 7-0 on aggregate against Highland League champions Cove Rangers, who will replace them in SPFL Division 2 next season.
“It’s not where we want to be,” admits Bell “But this is not something that has happened overnight.
“We have escaped by the skin of our teeth on several occasions in the past, so now we have to pull our socks up and try to bounce straight back.
“We know that won’t be easy, though, as the Lowland League has some very good teams in it, then of course you have to go through the play-offs as well, so it’s not an easy route at all.
“Supporters who have followed us for years are angry at what has happened, and I can understand that. But what we have to do now is channel all that energy, make it positive and hopefully put the resources in place to get back up again.”
Only last week, just hours after Rangers lost their SPFL status, Berwick rangers’ Supporters’ Club, who are the leading shareholders in the club, and holders of the lease on Shielfield from Northumberland County Council, called for the club’s Board of Directors to ‘consider their future’.
They said failure to do so would force them to call an extraordinary general meeting.
Berwick have long prided themselves on the fact that they have been the only English side playing in the Scottish League and losing that label hurts.
“Maybe we have to take that step backwards to go forwards,” said Bell. “If we regroup and come out of this a better club, regardless of what league we’re in, maybe the short-term pain will have been worth it.”
Berwick fans are currently still waiting to hear on the management set-up to take them into the Lowland League for 2019-20.
Johnny Harvey was sacked just one game before the end of last season and was replaced by John Brownlie and assistant Ian Little for the final match and the play-off fixtures.