Bo'ness United chairman anger as rival senior club application 'is lodged'
Bo’ness United chairman Iain Muirhead was “perplexed and angry” this week after telling this newspaper that feeder team Bo’ness United Junior FC had applied to join the BUs in the senior ranks.
Muirhead had outlined his strong opposition at the prospect of his Lowland League outfit having a direct rival in the same town – albeit playing in a Conference League initially – during discussions with representatives of his junior counterparts last week. But this apparently hasn’t prevented the subsidiary team – founded just two seasons ago – from bidding to exit East Region Scottish Junior Football Association Premiership South this summer to join a senior East of Scotland League conference.
“They informed us via email on – I think it was Sunday or Monday night – that they are going ahead with an application to join the East of Scotland League which hasn’t gone down very well,” Muirhead told the Journal and Gazette.
"It leaves us a bit perplexed, a bit angry. They are rebranding as a team so in effect they’re going to be a rival.
"Bo’ness Juniors have come a long way in a short period of time and they have done well. The hierarchy there is quite ambitious.
"Right away they are obviously not going to be a direct rival on the pitch (as they would play in a lower league).
"But they are still going to be fishing in that same pond, just further down the stream, in terms of players.
"It’s more financial that worries me going forward. We’ve had a plan of action in place, we’re now at a level which has seen the committee do very well to get to.
"We’ve got another senior team that’s g oing to come into the catchment area for sponsorship, Treasure Chest, everything we’ve worked on during the years. They’re going to be vying for that as they need cash, they need money as well.”
Muirhead stressed that his team’s opposition to the Juniors’ plan was lodged on behalf of the BU members, its United Club and supporters.
He said any negotiations between the two sides was now finished.
Muirhead added: “I believe a decision on whether or not to accept Bo’ness United Junior FC into the senior ranks will be made at the next East of Scotland AGM, usually round about June. We’ll see what happens.”