Stirlingshire Cup is cancelled due to referee fees
Published on Thursday 17 July 2008
THE 2008-09 Stirlingshire Cup competition has been abandoned for the first time in its 125-year history following a dispute over referee fees.
A unanimous decision was made last Saturday by the Stirlingshire FA office-bearers and member clubs.
The official reason given for the unprecedented cancellation was down to an increase in referee fees for the local competition.
And, this week, Falkirk boss John Hughes backed the ruling.
"I would have scrapped it as well - the price of referees is excessive,"
"There has to be a bit more understanding in order to make competitions such as these viable.
"However, it won't hinder our preparations for the coming season - if you've done everything in the right manner then it isn't a problem.
"We may still be looking to play our two games as friendlies, though."
Falkirk, winners of the cup for the past two seasons, were also the first holders in 1883/84.
Back then it was an important part of the football calendar when - with no Scottish leagues - clubs only played in friendly and cup matches.
Nowadays it is an used as part of pre-season preparations and an opportunity to play fringe players and, more recently, trialists.
As well as Falkirk, however, East Stirlingshire, Stenhousemuir, Stirling Albion, Alloa Athletic and Dumbarton
will also have to decide on whether to fulfil their fixtures in some capacity.
It was agreed that the section one Stenhousemuir versus Dumbarton match on Tuesday night would go ahead but only as a friendly.
However, in light of the ruling by the Stirlingshire FA, this week's other tie between Alloa Athletic and Stirling Albion has been called off.
Shire were due to play the Warriors at Ochilview Park next Tuesday, July 22, but, at the moment, the status of the fixture is yet to be determined.
Falkirk had initially confirmed Monday, July 28, for their section two meeting with Alloa while a date for the Stirling Albion fixture had not been decided.
Either way, the magnificent Stirlingshire Cup – manufactured for £78 but now believed to be worth 1000 times that is likely to stay in the Bairns' trophy cabinet.