Jul 15 2011 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
JUNIOR clubs have won the chance to overthrow a controversial vote to merge leagues.
Now they are being summoned to Hampden for a crunch second ballot later this month.
There was dismay among many small clubs when the AGM of the West Association voted to bring together the Ayrshire and Central District leagues.
Some clubs, including Craigmark, claimed the increased travelling costs would kill them.
The vote, which was carried by a 31-30 majority, was then challenged by two clubs who claimed the meeting was unconstitutional.
And this week, secretary Scott Robertson backed their claim when he confirmed that 10 clubs who took part in the vote had not paid their dues.
He said: "I am contacting every member club instructing them to attend a meeting on Thursday, July 28.
"Ten clubs who took part in the vote should not have done so. It has never happened before and it will never happen again."
Under the plan, there would be two Premier Leagues, both of 12 teams. The remaining clubs would come together in three leagues of 12, 12 and 16.
The highly contentious issue was proposed by Felix McKenna of St Anthony's and seconded by Kennie Young of Lugar.
The motion only won the day after two earlier votes finished 29-29. Three clubs had abstained, believing they weren't empowered to vote.
But when they were told they could, it tipped the balance.
The new vote has been welcomed by Craigmark president Derek Carruthers. The Dalmellington club were one of three to miss the original meeting.
He said: “This plan needs to be overturned without question. Sponsors aren’t there any more in the villages to sustain increased costs.
“We would try our best but I fear it would be the end of Craigmark.”
Earlier, regional secretary Robertson expressed his disquiet at the plan and predicted: “The proposal, as it stands, could lead to the demise of Ayrshire district clubs.”