Pre Merger

The following are some excerpts from match programmes of bygone years all discussing a possible future merger of the Inverness Highland League Clubs in order to gain Scottish League admission.


They make interesting reading bearing in mind the events that were to unfold in 1994 !


'Opinion Poll' - It's 'No!'

Taken from the match programme Jags v Huntly 28/4/79



The vexed question of an Inverness United has occupied administrators for almost 60 the very least !

From our records, we know that Inverness Thistle grew out of the club known as 'Crown FC' and somewhere around the turn of the century absorbed Union FC but in those days, such an amalgamation would have been a fairly straightforward business.

Nowadays football is big business - or should we say, the maintenance of a football team in the Highland League is big business - and apart from all the prejudices between clubs' supporters, the many legal aspects of any amalgamation would certainly take some sorting out.

That aside, our Poll, taken from a cross section of fans in all 'camps' seems to show that it is mainly the younger fans who are in favour of seeing a united Inverness club making a strong bid for a place in senior Scottish football.

Without going too deeply into the 'Pros & Cons' of the argument, we asked our test sample of fans two straightforward questions:



  a) Are you in favour of an Inverness United, assuming that this team would gain entry to the Scottish League?



  54% said 'NO' 43% 'YES' and 3% weren't sure



  b) Assuming that this team gained admission to the Scottish League, would you be in favour of an 'A' team still competing in the Highland League?



There was a resounding 90% 'YES' vote to this.



Population-wise, Inverness would have a good claim for inclusion in the senior league. It is possible that a successful 'United' team would draw out the crowds as well as galvanize some of the many 'armchair' support into coming to watch football.

As it is, crowds are generally on the decrease and as one leading official said to us last week, "What's the point of knocking your pan in week in week out for a couple of hundred spectators?"

A fair point and one that can apply in greater or lesser degrees throughout organised football.



Opinion Polls are notoriously inaccurate - as will no doubt be proved over the next couple of weeks! Our one is by no means definitive but it does seem to show there is a swing to the 'YES' vote, especially as we said, amongst younger people, who are after all, tomorrow's club officials.

Negotiations have a long way to go......and that is without a guarantee of a place in the Scottish League.

Whatever the outcome, whenever the outcome, we are sure it will be a democratic decision by all the clubs involved, after due consultation with their members.



EDITOR'S NOTE: Any opinions expressed in the foregoing article are not those of Inverness Thistle FC and any statements contained therein should not be construed as a statement of official club policy.






Amalgamation of NORTH CLUBS?

Taken from the match programme Jags v Huntly 28/4/79



Amid all the current talk and speculation about the possibility of an amalgamation of Inverness clubs to form a 'super team' and make a determined (and in my opinion, deserved) attempt to gain Scottish League status, the above headline could have come out of last week's paper. BUT the year was 1922, and a young man by the name of CHARLIE FRASER had just taken on the job of Highland League Secretary.

The proposals which were mooted were far-further reaching than those of today and, if they had not been defeated by the narrowest of votes, they could well have changed not just the Highland League, but the Scottish League as well.

It was proposed that the four Inverness Clubs, the now-defunct CITADEL were still going strong at that time, should amalgamate to form two new clubs. Also, that Elgin/Forres, Huntly/Keith, Buckie/MacDuff (pre- 'Deveronvale' days!) should also amalgamate. Added to these five, would be the following who would retain their separate identities: Ross County, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Arbroath, Montrose and Brechin City and lastly Forfar. This made a 12-club league, which would still be known as the Highland League but with the hope, in time for automatic promotion to, and relegation from, the Scottish League.

As we said, the proposals were only narrowly defeated and the reason given then was much the same as is being trotted out today.........TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES !

Nothing really ever changes does it?