BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Airdrieonians stalwart Marc Fitzpatrick has issued a rallying cry to all Diamonds supporters urging them to play their part in the club’s impending return to full-time football.
New Broomfield chairman Tom Wotherspoon announced on Friday night that the Lanarkshire outfit would be reverting to full-time status, as of next season, for the first time since 2010.
The ambitious move bucks the trend in Scottish football, which has seen many clubs seriously consider switching to part-time football amid a challenging financial landscape.
Airdrie’s average home gate in League One this season has been 901 – and Fitzpatrick believes it is pivotal that fans flock back if they are to restore themselves to anything approaching “the force” they once were.
“It feels like an ambitious club,” said the 29-year-old. “They have illustrated that ambition by stating that they’ll go full-time.
“The club is going to try and get the right type of player in and the gaffer [Eddie Wolecki Black] has a vision. With any luck they can become the force that they were back in the day.
“Hopefully the fans will come back and Airdrie can be a force in Scottish football again. They need to play a big part in this. I don’t think a club can sustain full-time football without the fans – we need that fanbase to pay their money and back the team.
“Hopefully they will buy into the ambition that the club has shown and the chairman has shown and we can all move on.”
Fitzpatrick has played the majority of his career in the full-time game with Motherwell, Ross County, Queen of the South and Morton prior to making the switch to part-time football with Airdrie in the summer.
With a steady job at Glasgow Airport, Fitzpatrick admits he will have a tough decision to make if he is offered a contract extension by the newly full-time Airdrie in the summer.
He added: “If the right opportunity comes about I would consider it, but I have a job now and play part-time. It’s difficult for part-time players to go full-time unless the money is a wee bit better.
“It all just depends on the circumstances and where I am with my life and my family. I would have a decision to make.”