Peterhead pubs get the Blues
Tills set to ring as newco Rangers visit north east town
PUBS in Peterhead are hoping for a trade bonanza when followers of the reborn Rangers come calling this weekend.
Operators in the north east town are gearing up for a busy day on Saturday when Peterhead FC host the Ibrox side’s first match in division three.
They’re pinning their hopes on a cash boost similar to that enjoyed by the local economy in Brechin when Rangers fans descended for the Ramsdens Cup match on Sunday July 29.
Peterhead FC social club is preparing for the match, which will be screened live on Sky Sports 2 at 12.30pm on Saturday, by putting on more staff and extra catering facilities. Manager Mary Buchan told SLTN that business will “definitely” be brisker than normal.
“We’re having more staff, we’ve got a marquee outside to cater for extra food and our function hall is fully booked,” she said.
“We’re also putting extra burger vans on – it’s chaos!”
Buchan said the club enjoyed a bumper day when Celtic visited for a cup match last season. And although the club opens to members and guests only, fans of both clubs will be in attendance. “We’ve got an awful lot of Rangers supporters here,” she said. “Excitement really is beginning to build. I’m looking forward to it.”
Pubs elsewhere in the town, including the Creel Inn, also hope to be busy before and after the match at the 4000-capacity Balmoor Stadium.
But Stewart Aiken, owner of the Station Bar, Waverley Hotel and Mambo’s bar and nightclub, said the two occasions on which Peterhead will host Rangers this season won’t be enough to offset the loss of the Celtic-Rangers derbies.
“We’ll maybe have two busy Saturdays, but to be honest the loss of the Old Firm games will have a negative effect,” he said.
“Everybody wants to see the Celtic-Rangers – they like the big games.
“It’s kind of a no-win situation. We’ll have a couple of busy Saturdays but remember that’s just for one year – they’ll [Rangers] expect to be promoted to the second and the first. And it will be at least four years before they’re back [playing Old Firm games] in the SPL.”
After much speculation, Sky and ESPN extended their deals to cover Scottish football by five years last week. This season Sky will show 30 SPL games plus five Rangers games in the SFL, while ESPN will also broadcast 30 from the top flight and ten involving the Ibrox club in the third division, three at home.