Merger shock

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FOOTBALL fans will be hailing the gallant Rose United from now on, as we can exclusively reveal plans to merge our two junior club teams.

Undergound mines and winter weather have brought the arch-rivals together for unprecedented talks.

Fresh surveys by engineering experts Oil Foal PR have revealed that Newton Park, home to Bo’ness United, is sitting on top of old coal mines which could be costly to fill in, forcing officials to consider ditching their traditional home.

And with Prestonfield, the Rose home ground, being badly hit by the weather this winter, officials at the club are said to be in talks to build a brand new shared stadium, with an all weather surface.

Bo’ness Foreshore, Douglas Park, the old Seddons’ shirt factory site and the Peel have all been ruled out as potential new grounds. It is thought a greenfield site on top of the Flints half-way between each town could be the ideal solution.

Insiders say if they are thinking of sharing a ground, then sharing all other costs and a fanbase could be the start of a magnificent future, so a full merger looks likely.

One insider said: ‘’After all, there’s only three miles between the two towns anyway, they are practically twins, so they might as well be together. I know there is a local rivalry, but surely both sets of fans can see the sense in being together - we could even go for the SPL. We think together we can generate enough income for some big-name signings - maybe even bring players like Kenny Deuchar to Rose United.’’

Lira Floop, spokesperson for the SJFA, said: ‘’We’d welcome any merger talks between the two. Most of us can’t tell the difference between Bo’ness and Linlithgow anyway, so it makes sense to us.’’

Dougie Snedden, Bo’ness United president, said: ‘’One of the biggest questions we’re left with though, is who should be the manager? We might let Dave Baikie and Willie Newbigging job share. Or Walter Smith is due to retire and looking at his options, we could go for him!’’

Jim Harkins, secretary at Linlithgow Rose, said: ‘’Every one will probably think this is some kind of joke!’’