Wee Rovers Hit The Big Time!


Scottish football was a bit repetitive for those of us that grew up in the late eighties and nineties .

From 1989 till 1998, Rangers were the kings. They achieved the feat of winning nine league titles in a row, equaling Jock Stein’s Celtic record from the sixties.

In the same period of time Albion Rovers (a club Stein had played for) managed to prop up the bottom division in Scotland on four occasions.

Fast forward to the present day and both west of Scotland sides find themselves in the lower leagues.

But in a fascinating twist of fate both sides have been paired together in the Scottish Cup quarter final draw.

The ‘Wee Rovers’ are in dreamland. This is the furthest the side have got in Scotland’s premier cup competition in the last 80 years.

With the game being drawn at Ibrox, Albion Rovers will stand to receive a big pay-out as they get half of the gate money. There has even been some talk of Celtic fans purchasing tickets for the away end. The Rovers coffers could be boosted by around £100k.

Then came the news that the tie would be broadcast live on Sky Sports, meaning the League Two side would get an extra £82k.

This cup fixture might not be the sides biggest ever cup tie. The Coatbridge outfit managed to reach the cup final in 1920 eventually losing to Kilmarnock (Albion beat Rangers in the semi final that year). But it’ll certainly be the biggest in the modern era and the most lucrative!

It is absolutely fantastic news for a club the size of Albion Rovers. Never in my life did I ever expect to see the ‘Wee Rovers’ make the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup. Nor did I ever imagine that the lowly Lanarkshire side would ever be live on Sky Sports.

I’m so happy for them. The players, management team and fans deserve this dream draw. It is a huge boost for the whole of Scottish football too. Here in Scotland we love nothing better than supporting the underdog, lets face it Scotland are usually the underdogs!

On the 9th of March 2014 most of Coatbridge will be hoping that their side can add can Rangers to the names of previous victims Spartans, Deveronvale, Motherwell and Stenhousemuir.

No matter what the result is, I just hope that Albion Rovers enjoy the occasion, the exposure and the money!

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