Ritchie: Relegation not a disaster

09 May 2010 01:16
Falkirk chairman Martin Ritchie called for a sense of perspective after his club's five-year SPL stay ended with a 0-0 draw at Kilmarnock.

Falkirk threw men forward in the final quarter of their must-win match at Rugby Park but their one clear chance went begging when Ryan Flynn volleyed over from 10 yards in the 88th minute.

Ritchie had warned before the match that relegation could cost the club £2million but he insisted he would do everything in his power to ensure the progress they had made in recent years would not all be undone.

The board have already asked manager Steven Pressley to remain in charge for next season and his position is expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

"It's very easy to think this is a disaster for Falkirk Football Club," Ritchie said. "I came into the club 12 years ago and we were in provisional liquidation, still at Broclkville, playing in the First Division and our office staff were working in a Portakabin.

"Now we have a new 8,000-seat stadium, a fantastic pitch and a great training set-up at Stirling University, a very successful academy that people speak highly of, in the community we are working with all the schools around Falkirk, doing welfare-to-work programmes.

"This is a setback, a major setback, but it's just a setback. The message I would like to give about Falkirk Football Club is we have moved on a long way in 12 years.

"I suppose life doesn't go up all the time, some things are always going to get in the way and trip you up.

"What we have to do is move forward and preserve an awful lot of things we have put in place because a lot of people have put in a lot of hard work to make that happen.

"Going down, we obviously have to save money but I hope we can preserve the youth programme and can still play our part in the community and Scottish football."

Pressley made a point of thanking the Falkirk supporters after a mass pitch invasion by the home fans prevented the players and management showing their appreciation at Rugby Park.

"They have been wonderful, they have been so supportive," Pressley said. "It's a disappointing day but we will pick ourselves up and move on to next season. I love this job, I love every aspect of the job."

Kilmarnock manager Jimmy Calderwood is unsure whether he will remain in charge after describing the relegation battle as "horrendous".

But the former Aberdeen boss, who took over from Jim Jefferies and Billy Brown on January 14, is convinced he would improve the team given a pre-season to change their mind set.

Calderwood said: "It's very difficult to come into a team in the middle of a season, obviously Jim and Billy have different ideas about how the game should be played, and trying to change their attitudes in different things.

"We went on with kid gloves a bit, some of the things we couldn't believe were happening. You didn't want to be too hard on them but if you did get them at the start of the season then things wouldn't be happening.

"I'm not giving anyone stick, just the way we want to defend and train and discipline in certain things is different.

"So we went out with kid gloves but that changed on Wednesday night and I went back to the normal Calderwood, I'm afraid."

Source: Team_Talk

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