SKY may have missed out on one epic cup tie, but they certainly won’t miss out on Brechin City’s next Scottish Cup adventure when they visit McDiarmid Park on Tuesday, March 22, in the Carling Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.
The £82,500 reward, described by vice-chairman/treasurer, Martin Smith, “as the one you dream about” was confirmed by the satellite broadcaster on Monday.
If this money is anything, it’s a reward for volunteers like Martin, who, for the last three decades has helped to keep the club afloat with good housekeeping.
It’s also a reward for people like Tom Gilmartin and Alan Grieve who can be found most nights of the week at Glebe Park.
Above all however, it’s a reward for the management and players whose heroic performance on Saturday, enthralled not only the home fans, but visiting supporters alike.
St Johnstone supremo Geoff Brown described the pre-match effort to get the game played as a “triumph in community relations.”
This City side have travelled all over Scotland to win and win well and with the semi-final draw pairing either them or St Johnstone with Dundee United or Motherwell, as one City fan smiled and said this week: “Celtic will be relieved they have avoided us!”
Brechiner Gregor Laing, a regular at Glebe Park for longer than he cares to remember, said: “I went home on Saturday night feeling about ten feet tall.
“I have never been so proud to be a Brechiner. It gives you some sense of pride and achievement and I can’t praise our players highly enough. “
Gregor may be the wrong side of 70, but he knows a player and he reckons Brechin should go out and enjoy the replay.
And what was Brechin City’s answer to getting news of an £80,000 plus windfall?
Not to go and put in an offer for Lionel Messi, but to pay for their official supporters coaches to travel to McDiarmid Park free of charge. Real football decisions, made by real football fans and not a blueprint on the future of the game in sight.
“The arrival of so many people on Saturday morning to clear the pitch was fantastic,” said chairman Ken Ferguson.
“The way the entire community really took the game to their hearts was very pleasing.
“This is just rewards for the effort everyone has put in. The club will be on national and international television and that means it’s a proud moment to be associated with the club.
“The performance of the players and the management was inspirational. They didn’t know they were beaten at two-one down and kept fighting for a replay.
“After that the final aspect and equally important was to see the entire local community in such high spirits and enjoying themselves.
“Some of our best performances have come away from home in the competition.
“At Dumfries the team showed what they can do on the road again. Up at Buckie we were professional in getting the job done.
“There should be no fear for the players. I think they themselves will get a lift from appearing on national television.
“We will do well out of this, but there is a lot of money going out as well as coming in and it’s only right that the players should do well out of this for getting us where we are.
“You don’t know what you will get, as there are a few unknown figures there. All going well and with no postponement in the replay the club will be on a stable footing. It’s something that the club has waited on for ten years.”
Alan Renilson, of the Brown Horse Hotel, summed up the benefits that much of the business community felt from the game itself.
He said: “Our turnover was up three hundred per cent on turnover on an average Saturday. Both sets of supporters behaved impeccably and it was just the perfect day all round.”