Bonnyrigg Rose are hopeful that “commonsense will prevail” and they will be able to play their Scottish Cup glamour tie against holders Hibs at Tynecastle next month.
The Super League champions caused a major upset when they won 1-0 away to SPFL Championship side Dumbarton in Tuesday’s third-round replay.
The Scottish Football Association contacted the Midlothian club yesterday to enquire about their intentions for the mouthwatering fourth-round tie – scheduled for Saturday, January 21 – in which Neil Lennon’s Championship pacesetters will begin the defence of their trophy.
Bonnyrigg officials are desperate to have the match switched from their humble 3,000-capacity home, New Dundas Park, to the 17,000-capacity Tynecastle in order to maximise exposure and revenue, while accommodating everyone who wishes to see a historic match unlikely to be televised live.
Hearts, who are away to Raith Rovers in the fourth round, have already intimated to Bonnyrigg chairman Charlie Kirkwood that they would be open to hiring out Tynecastle for the biggest match in their history. Once further talks take place with both Hearts and Hibs, a proposal will be lodged to the SFA, who are then likely to decide on the venue next week. According to SFA rules, the match cannot be switched to Easter Road, but Bonnyrigg are concerned by the prospect of potentially being asked to play the tie at Ainslie Park, Meadowbank or Almondvale.
“The SFA have been on the phone and they said it would be the ground nearest both teams,” Bonnyrigg secretary Robert Dickson told the Evening News. “I mentioned Tynecastle, which would be the favourable choice for everyone in terms of size, policing, access, car parking and transport. They said one of the options would be Spartans, and I was surprised by that. If it’s going to be Spartans, we’d be as well keeping it at Bonnyrigg because there would be no difference in the crowd. There’s been talk of Livingston as well, but that’s through west and it’s not so convenient.
“We want to take it to a bigger venue because I genuinely think we could get close to 15,000 people there. We want it to be a family day out for the people of Bonnyrigg. We’ve touched base with Hearts, who seemed quite keen, and we’ll put our proposals to them in the coming days. I don’t think Hibs will have a problem playing at Tynecastle, so I hope they let us have our big day at a venue that ticks all the boxes. I don’t deny that we’d gain financially from it being at Tynecastle, but we’re a small Junior club who have committee men out begging all the time just to keep the club afloat. Playing it at Tynecastle would allow us a bit of financial security for a few years. At the end of the day, it will be the SFA who make the final decision.”
Meanwhile, Hibs have been drawn at home to Celtic in the quarter-final of the SFA Youth Cup. The tie will take place on or before Sunday, January 22.