Arniston squad show commitment to the cause by taking a wage cut

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Things are looking up on and off the park for Arniston Rangers after a period of financial uncertainty at the end of last season.

Jock Landells’ men have started this Premier League campaign where they left off after they went on a nine-game winning run towards the end of last season and are sitting pretty in fifth.

Incidentally, that run conspired with an uncertain period behind the scenes with the future of Landells and his players in doubt as the Gorebridge club were unable to sustain their budget for this season.

However, after boss Landells and his squad put forward a proposal to take a reduction in wages and supporters rallied round to raise more than £1000 to aid the club, they haven’t looked back, and now have their sights on the Super League.

“The club was just about ready to call it a day at the end of last season,” revealed Landells. “All the players were going to be leaving along with myself because they couldn’t sustain the budget for keeping the team going as it was.

“Arniston would’ve kept going as a club but would’ve had to build a whole new squad again.

“I went to the committee with a proposal after the players and myself had agreed to take a reduction in wages to keep the club going, and they accepted it.

“A local businessman who owns Morningside Masonry came in during the summer and did some voluntary ground improvements which gave us wee lift. We’ve since managed to get a few local businessman sponsoring us and we got Rentokill Initial to sponsor our new strip.

“Behind the scenes everything is more pro-active now and the feelgood factor is coming back to the club.”

After securing their highest-ever Premier League finish last season in fourth, Landells and his players are now looking to break into the top three.

Landells, whose side host Armadale Thistle at Newbyres Park tomorrow, says their home form must improve if they wish to do just that.

He added: “Our away form has been excellent and we’re trying to replicate that at home. We’ve not been as consistent at home as we’d like to be – our first win at home was last Saturday against Crossgates.

“We’ve not really reached the heights that we got to at the end of last season. We’re working hard behind the scenes to get back to that level.”