Raith Rovers boss Gary Locke calls for SFA & SPFL action to help clubs avoid financial difficulties of fixture problems

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GARY Locke insists Scotland’s governing bodies need to act to protect the financial security of clubs after Raith Rovers had to be bailed out by supporters to help them through a fixtures nightmare.

The Kirkcaldy outfit play their first game in almost three weeks tomorrow away to St Mirren and have not enjoyed a home match at 3 p.m. on a Saturday for two months.

The Stark’s Park men have played just twice on home soil since their goalless draw at the traditional weekend kick-off time against Hibs on October 15.

But their clash with Queen of the South on October 29 was switched to 5.15 for television and their encounter with Ayr United on November 22 was rearranged for a cold Tuesday night.

Without a game in the Scottish Cup a fortnight ago and then with last weekend’s home meeting with Morton postponed because their opponents had their frozen-off cup match rescheduled for last Saturday, Rovers were left facing cash-flow problems.

Donations totalling £14,000 came in from supporters’ groups to help plug the gap but Locke insists more should be done when scheduling games to ensure clubs do not face such a scenario in future.

The Raith boss, who suffered the effects of administration when in charge at Hearts, said: “It’s been a while since we’ve played and it’s something we’ve been really disappointed about, the fact that we’re at this stage of the season and we’ve not played for three weeks. It’s pretty poor.

“For me, it’s certainly something that should be looked at. It’s nothing to do with us that (Morton’s) Scottish Cup game was off.

MONEY

“We’ve gone three weeks without a game – and we’ve actually gone two months without playing a home game at three o’clock on a Saturday – and that’s not right.

“It’s certainly something I think the powers that be should have a look at.

“Our players need to keep playing and we need money coming through the doors, and the fact we’ve not had that means the fans have had to put their hands into their pockets to help out.

“It’s just not right.

“This is a great club, a really well run club, but we need a hand.

“We can’t afford to go two months without a home game at three o’clock on a Saturday. I don’t think any club in our position could do that.

“Everybody knows that clubs are struggling these days just to make ends meet.”

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