Details of Gretna and the Ticket Luck value
Gretna Football Club is a Scottish football club from Gretna, near Annan, Dumfries and Galloway and promoted to the Scottish Premier League in the 06/07 season. Their current manager is Davie Irons. Owned by businessman Brooks Mileson, who has poured vast amounts of money into the club, they have gone from being a non-league side playing in the Northern Premier League First Division in England to a 2007/08 place in the Scottish Premier League in five years.
An amateur team in the town, called Gretna Green F.C. had existed in the 19th century, but was bankrupt by the 1920s. This left the area without a team until Gretna FC was founded in 1946, which played locally in Dumfries. The following year, they made the unusual move of transferring to a league run by the English Football Association, the Carlisle and District League, despite being a Scottish based club. This reflects Gretna's location on the border between the two countries. They remained in this league for all but one season until 1982, moving to the newly created second division of the Northern League. They won the league and were promoted immediately, before back-to-back championship wins in the first division, in 1990/1991 and 1991/1992, resulted in their promotion to the first division of the Northern Premier League.
During the 1990s, they also became the first club from Scotland to appear in the FA Cup proper since Rangers had done so in 1887. The club, however, saw its future in Scottish football and applied twice to the Scottish league in 1993 and 1999. To help boost their later application, they played a Rangers XI team in a game to raise money for victims of the Lockerbie air disaster.
In 2002 Gretna were elected to the Scottish Football League, at the third attempt, following the extinction of Airdrieonians because of financial problems. In 2004-05 they were promoted from Division Three after three seasons, and then won the Division Two and Division One titles in successive seasons, in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
They were also runners-up in the Scottish Cup, having reached the competition final for the first time in their history, after beating Dundee 3-0 in the semi-final on 1 April 2006. This made them the first team from Division 2 to reach the final since a third tier was introduced in the 1975/76 season. This made them the first team from the third tier of their domestic league to qualify for the UEFA Cup. They qualified since Hearts already had a place in the Champions League. During their seasons of successive promotions they scored an incredible 297 goals with 130 coming in the 2004/05 season and a further 97 coming a season later. The 130 scored in the Third Division was 1 goal short of the British league record of goals scored in a season.
The club's success after the first relatively uneventful few seasons in the Scottish Third Division can be explained by the funding of managing director Brooks Mileson, a multi-millionaire. The club has attracted new fans from across the UK and further afield as they continue to win matches. Although some claim that these fans are merely 'fairweather' supporters, shown by the fact that the club only took 500 fans to the title decider against Ross County and had an average attendance of around 1500. The club is committed to several grass-roots projects bankrolled by Mileson, such as free tickets for schoolchildren as far afield as Dumfries, and youth coaching. These are indicative of Gretna's desire to become a self-sustaining football club.
Striker Kenny Deuchar has been an important player during Gretna's rise, smashing a number of club and league goal scoring records. Gretna continued to invest heavily in their playing squad and it is said that they are currently paying within the top 10 highest salaries in Scotland. Although the population of Gretna is only 2,705 (as of 2001), their current stadium, after the reconstruction holds 6,000 people.
Gretna's first match in Europe was in the UEFA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round against Derry City of League of Ireland. The match ended in disappointment for Gretna however, as the First Division outfit succumbed to a 5-1 defeat; they were then eliminated following a 2-2 draw in the second leg in Northern Ireland.For much of the 2006-07 season, it looked as if Gretna would again win the division with ease. However, manger Rowan Alexander was forced to step down in March 2007 due to heath problems, and coach Davie Irons stepped up to the manager's position. Gretna's form dipped afterwards and second-placed St. Johnstone went on a good run, leaving the sides only a point apart on the final day of the season. Despite St. Johnstone taking an early lead in their match and looking destined for the Premier League, Gretna managed a goal in the very last minute of the season, giving them a win and ensuring that they will spend season 2007-08 in the Scottish Premier League.
During the 2007-2008, Gretna are playing their home games at Motherwell's home ground of Fir Park, as Raydale Park is going under construction to make it up to SPL standards. Their first game in the SPL was against Falkirk. This ended in a 4-0 defeat for Gretna. They have struggled so far this season, only scoring four points in their first 12 games leaving them lying bottom of the table. On 22 September 2007, Gretna won their first game in the SPL, defeating Dundee United at Fir Park. This also marked the first occasion that Gretna had beaten a Premier League team in any competition.
On the 27th of October 2007 , only 1020 people turned up to the 'home' match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle making this the lowest ever attendance at a SPL match.
On the 6th of November 2007, Gretna officially sacked Rowan Alexander as manager and installed Davie Irons as the new man in charge. A statement read Gretna FC can confirm Rowan Alexander has been dismissed from the club with effect from yesterday's date after extensive investigation and internal procedure. Rowan Alexander has however, announced he plans to appeal to the courts about this and hopes that he can get put back in charge.