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Gretna relegated to Third Division by SFL

Crisis-stricken Gretna were today relegated to the Irn-Bru Third Division at the Scottish Football League's annual general meeting.

Crisis-stricken Gretna were today relegated to the Irn-Bru Third Division at the Scottish Football League's annual general meeting.

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The club, who went into administration in March, could give no guarantees that they will fulfil their fixtures next season and were demoted by two further levels following their relegation from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

SFL chief executive, David Longmuir, confirmed that Airdrie will be promoted to Division One and Stranraer to Division Two.

Gretna now have less than a week to stave off expulsion from the league as officials will not accept the continuing status as a club in administration.

The league want any takeover to be completed by the early part of next week or they will invite applicants to replace the stricken club.

David Elliot of administrators Wilson Field has been negotiating with a consortium fronted by football agent Paul Davies, but it is believed there is little prospect of a takeover being completed.

The SFL were unconvinced by the business plan put forward by Davies and the unsuitability of Raydale Park to First Division football persuaded them that the "risks were far too high".

Longmuir said Elliot believes the interested party may still be keen on a takeover. He added: "That remains to be seen. But we and the SFL had to make sure we protected the integrity of our league.

"There was no commitment from the administrator that Gretna could fulfil the fixtures at all in the coming season, which means we had to do what we thought was right for our league."

Gretna were admitted to the league in 2002 and completed a hat-trick of title victories in 2007, but the fall down the divisions has been even more rapid.

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