Many clubs have climbed the heights of promotion and relegation then fallen hard. The stories of Gretna, Blackpool, Sheffield United. Blackburn and Parma are a cautionary tale for A-League clubs that have aspirations to climb to the top of the Australian
Gretna were one of the most exciting stories in Scottish football history. In 2002, they replaced Airdrie in the Scottish Football League and went from the fourth tier to the Scottish Premier League in three consecutive seasons and made the Scottish Cup final in 2006. Finding success by signing players who had prospered in a division or two above, they were led by “Dr Goals” – Kenny Deuchar a qualified rheumatology doctor. It was real Roy of the Rovers stuff but unfortunately when they did reach the SPL, the step up would prove too much. Their tiny ground in Gretna – most famous for runaway weddings – did not meet SPL criteria so they had to share Motherwell’s ground, more than an hour’s drive away. And when maverick owner Brooks Mileson fell ill with with chronic fatigue syndrome, the team soon went into administration, dropped out of the league... and out of existence.