Raydale Park

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Raydale Park
Raydale Park - geograph.org.uk - 1157411.jpg
Raydale Park in 2009
Raydale Park is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Raydale Park
Raydale Park
Location in Dumfries and Galloway
Location Gretna, Scotland
Coordinates 54°59′35.57″N 3°04′18.91″W / 54.9932139°N 3.0719194°W / 54.9932139; -3.0719194
Owner Raydale Community Partnership
Capacity 2200
Surface Grass
Opened 1946
Tenants
Gretna (1946-2008)
Gretna 2008 (2009-present)

Raydale Park is a football stadium in Gretna, Scotland, that served as the home ground of Gretna until the club resigned from the Scottish Football League in 2008. Gretna played most of their home games at Raydale during their existence in English non-league football and then during their period in the Scottish Football League.

History[edit]

Gretna played most of their games in the 2007–08 season at Fir Park, Motherwell because Raydale did not meet SPL requirements.[1] This meant a 150-mile round trip for fans from the Gretna area. Gretna also played a UEFA Cup match (a 1–5 defeat to Derry City) at Fir Park because Raydale was inadequate for that competition.[2]

Gretna had planned to leave Raydale Park and move to an eco-stadium in Gretna Green.[3][4] These plans never came to fruition as the club suffered severe financial problems during the 2007–08 season.

These financial problems are now expected to lead to the sale of the ground for a use other than football.[5] Supporters of Gretna FC formed Gretna 2008, a new club that started by playing their home games at the Everholm Stadium in Annan. Dumfries and Galloway Council ruled out bidding for the stadium, which they wanted to preserve for recreational use. It was reported by the BBC that it was likely that Raydale would be sold to developers "outside football",[6] but the new buyers, Sawtry (IoM) allowed Gretna 2008 to move into Raydale in May 2009.[7]

In May 2011 Sawtry agreed to sell the ground, along with the social club and market on-site, to the Raydale Community Partnership, a group made up of members from a community council and from Gretna 2008. The £250,000 deal was finalised on 28 May 2011.

Greyhound racing[edit]

A greyhound track was constructed around the pitch just after the World War II. Racing took place on Wednesday at 7.30pm and consisted of five dog races (instead of the normal six dog racing) over 300 and 480 yards.[8] Racing continued for forty years until Gretna F.C. needed to increase the size of the pitch in 1985. The greyhound operation owned by James Norman and sons constructed and moved to a new purpose built track called Halcrow Stadium to the west of Gretna.[9]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SPL groundshare plans 'shelved', BBC Sport, 3 March 2008
  2. ^ Gretna to face Derry in Uefa Cup, BBC Sport, 28 July 2006
  3. ^ Gretna Look to Go Green, Daily Record, 24 October 2007.
  4. ^ Gretna face eco-stadium dilemma, BBC Sport, 19 November 2007.
  5. ^ Gretna 'no longer in existence', BBC News, 2 June 2008.
  6. ^ BBC NEWS | Scotland | South of Scotland | Council rules out bid for stadium
  7. ^ Gretna enjoys football homecoming, BBC News, 2 May 2009.
  8. ^ Furby, R (1968). Independent Greyhound Racing. New Dominion House. p. 80. 
  9. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. pp. 288–289. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.