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Stirling Albion chief welcomes green light for fans at Rangers Scottish Cup tie

Stirling Albion have been handed a massive cash boost after it was confirmed crowds will be admitted to football in time for their bumper Scottish Cup fixture with Rangers at Ibrox later this month.

The Binos had been left sweating over whether fans would be allowed in for the glamour cup fixture, of which the Forthbank side are due a share of the Ibrox gate revenue.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Tuesday) handed the Stirling outfit a major boost when she revealed that restrictions on outdoor events, limiting numbers to just 500, are to be lifted from Monday.

Albion travel to face the Scottish champions in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Friday, January 21. It had been feared that the club could lose out on the lucrative fixture if fans were locked out but the First Minister revealed that clubs will be allowed to thrown open their gates to fans from next week, with full capacity stadiums permitted.

Welcoming the move, Binos chairman Stuart Brown told the Observer: “The First Minister’s announcement that the Scottish Government restriction on fans attending outdoor sporting events has been lifted in time for our Scottish Cup fourth round match versus Rangers is most welcome – and that’s undoubtedly the understatement of the year to date.

“The financial benefit to the club is clearly hugely significant, enabling the club board to set in place plans for the medium to longer-term that simply would not have been possible if the tie to all intent and purposes was played ‘behind closed doors’.”



Stirling Albion chairman Stuart Brown

The move will also be welcome news to the Forthbank faithful. Brown added: “Aside from the financial implications, I’m delighted that our supporters will have the opportunity to attend the match. They deserve a big night out every bit as much as the players.

“From recent experience, I can testify that football without fans is sterile to the point of being pointless.

“We’ve held off selling tickets until we had the confirmation, so the next week or so it’s going to be incredibly resource intensive in order to get our allocation sold and collected and delivered. Details are on our website and social media channels. I would respectfully ask our supporters looking to purchase tickets to act sooner rather than later.”

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Announcing the news, Ms Sturgeon said that restrictions on large scale outdoor events, imposed since Boxing Day, are to removed in a “phased and careful way”.



Stirling Albion fans can look forward to their side’s trip to Ibrox

She said: “I can confirm today that the attendance limit of 500 at large-scale outdoor events will be lifted from Monday, January 17.

“That means, for example, that spectators will be permitted again at major outdoor sporting events, including football fixtures scheduled for early next week, and the forthcoming Six Nations rugby matches.

“The Covid certification scheme will remain in place for those and other events and venues previously covered, but with two changes.

“Firstly, our guidance will now stipulate that the organisers of large events, of 1000 or more people, should check the certification status of at least 50-per cent of attendees, rather than the current 20-per cent, or at least 1000 people – whichever figure is higher.

“Secondly, from Monday the requirement to be ‘fully vaccinated’ for the purposes of Covid certification will include having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.”

The First Minister added that a further review next week will assess whether other protective measures – including limits on indoor live events, table service in hospitality and distancing in indoor public places – could be lifted from January 24.

She further advised residents to continue to limit their contact with people in other households, and in particular to limit the number of households in any indoor gathering to a maximum of three.



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