Lowland League hopefuls Bonnyrigg Rose face race against clock to install floodlights
Bonnyrigg Rose have began a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of installing floodlights, which they must have in place before the start of next season in order to have a chance of promotion to the Lowland League.
After last week’s win over Dundonald Bluebell, the Rose need just a point this weekend against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale to secure the Conference B crown and a place in the round robin play-offs against the other Conference winners, to decide the East of Scotland champions.
The winners would then face the South of Scotland champions for a place in the Lowland League next season but they must have a SFA entry level licence to gain promotion to tier 5 of the pyramid and access to the Scottish Cup.
As yet neither the Rose or Penicuik Athletic – who are leading Conference A – have been officially granted a licence. Bonnyrigg and Penicuik are still waiting to hear back on their application with the March 31 deadline fast approaching.
A statement on Bonnyrigg’s website said: “Under this year’s licence criteria it is now a mandatory requirement to have floodlights. This was not the requirement to have floodlights when we applied for an entry level licence in 2018. We are still awaiting a decision from the SFA board if we will be granted a derogation (a licence which will give us x amount of time to install floodlights), which can currently be granted to existing member clubs.
“We’ve started this process with the submission of a planning application to Midlothian Council in January (two weeks after we learned of the new criteria.)”
The club have three fundraising events including a race night at the Bonnyrigg Masonic Hall on March 30, a psychic night on April 19 and are looking for sponsorship for the Edinburgh Half Marathon, which club treasurer Brendan Parkinson is running on May 26.
The club added: “Any supporter or business that can help us out will be most appreciated.”