Lichties’ chairman can’t wait for kick-off!

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EVER since the draw for the fourth round of the Scottish Cup was made, Arbroath chairman John Christison has hardly had a moment’s rest, writes Jennifer Newton.

As soon as he and the rest of the board members heard the Lichties would be facing Rangers straight away their attentions turned to the logistics of hosting such a big match.

And just some of the factors having to be taken into consideration included ground capacity, tickets, hospitality, Sky Sports, policing and stewards.

As nearly all of the board members have full-time day jobs, they use their spare time to volunteer to make sure the club is ready for such an occasion.

And Mr Christison says the next time he will relax is as soon as the referee blows his whistle to start the game at 12.45 p.m. on Sunday.

He said: “It has been a fantastic draw but there has been a lot of hard work being done too.

“The first thing we did was try to increase the ground capacity and concentrate on selling the tickets.

“Then we had the announcement Sky were taking the game and had things to sort out there.

“Then there was hospitality to look at and we had around 291 applications for hospitality in just two days.

“It has been non-stop.”

In addition to a normal matchday preparation, the club has had to have meetings with the police and Angus Council on crowd control.

An extra 50 stewards are being brought in for the game and there will be additional toilets and refreshments next to the terracing opposite the main stand.

A commemorative 32 page programme is also being produced and 13 cameras will be inside Gayfield to capture every angle of the game for Sky Sports.

But even though it has been tough going, Mr Christison wouldn’t have it any other way.

He added: “I just wish we had these problems every week!

“As soon as the game kicks-off and I see everyone’s smiling faces inside Gayfield I will be happy.

“And hopefully we will cheering an Arbroath victory.”