"How are they going to get all these Rangers fans into Glebe Park up there?" he asked, not unreasonably, given that the 'sold out' notice has long gone up at the home of the Second Division club for the Ramsdens Cup game and that Rangers are, despite their recent surreal travails, still one of the best-supported clubs in Britain.
"There will be thousands of Rangers supporters here and they won't get into the game," said Dundee fan Ernie, who said he feared there could be trouble in local pubs.
Despite some reservations about what one local resident described as the "unknown-quantity factor" concerning the travelling Rangers support, today's game can't come quickly enough for this small, pleasant cathedral city. Brechin City's average attendance is in the region of 400-500 but some 4100 tickets have been sold for the first competitive game to be played by newco Rangers.
A number of tickets went up for sale on eBay but reports suggest that some fans, irritated by this, retaliated by placing hoax six-figure bids to deter the touts.
On Friday there were few outward signs that cup fever had descended on Brechin, but if you spoke to local people – Ernie aside – there was no doubting the anticipation. Even a man from the Wall Street Journal has been up here to gauge local reaction.
Another sign of cup fever was the fact that the club's commemorative mugs, which allude to the historic nature of the game, could not be had for love nor money on Friday.
"It's going to be fantastic for the town," said Amanda Taylor, 24, a reporter on the Brechin Advertiser. "It's going to bring in a lot of people and the publicity surrounding the event has been fantastic for the town, and particularly for the club. I think Ken Ferguson [club chairman] has been on the phone and on camera more often than he has been at his work.
"Hopefully we can get a win," Taylor added. "It would be fantastic for the club. We had a 2-1 win over Inverness Caley last Tuesday and that was an SPL side ... and it's a Third Division side we're playing on Sunday – well, a former SPL side. The atmosphere is going to be incredible."
Bill Sturrock, chairman of the 67-member Brechin and District Business Association, said many shops would be shut today and so would not benefit from Rangers' considerable presence. "But there will obviously be benefits for the hotels and the food retail outlets that are open, as well as the pubs. Some of the pubs are doing ticket-only events to restrict numbers to comply with their licensing requirements."
The game is Brechin's second big occasion within the last fortnight: a Harley Davidson bike event attracted between 2000 and 3000 people. "The Harley owners said they had never had such a friendly welcome before and they all want to come back," Sturrock added.
"The community itself will be fine [today]. It's just a case of making sure that the crowds who come will find somewhere to watch or listen to the game, or see the game in some shape or form.
"That will be the challenge."
At the Northern Hotel, manager Rachael Smith said: "I think [it] will be good for the town and local businesses to have that many people here." The game will be screened live, via BBC Alba, in the hotel's public bar. "We're prepared for a lot of people coming," she added.
Up at the Stables lounge bar, Alan Renilson said: "On a normal home game for Brechin City, we would have between 50 and 70 patrons in here, so it's busy.
"Because of the uncertainty about the travelling support, we have advertised the fact that there will be 100 seats here. We've made an open invitation to our regulars, Brechin City fans, and Brechin-based Rangers fans to take up the offer and we've issued tickets to that effect. We've tempered the advert by saying it's not a snub to travelling supporters. But we need to create a safe environment. A lot of our customers have kids, and I'm not wanting kids being subjected to ... nothing against Rangers fans, but if they've been drinking since 10 in the morning and are travelling up here ... basically our doors will be shut on Sunday with a sign saying 'Private function – pub full'."
The Stables prides itself on its memorabilia, which includes Brechin FC strips and hickory-shafted golf clubs. Renilson's partner Joyce does the catering for the boardroom, players' lounge and executive lounge at nearby Glebe Park.
"Sunday will definitely be a great day for Brechin," Renilson added. "I hope it's not marred by people making a protest [about what has happened to Rangers]. I think Rangers have had their punishment and their fans have suffered enough. It's time to move on. The Third Division is a massive punishment."
At Glebe Park itself, where TV camera stands had been erected and an electronic advertising hoarding had just been installed (although only for the Rangers game), the finishing touches were being put to the pitch, which already looked perfect. "We want to get the place looking spick and span," says club chairman Ken Ferguson. "If it's going to be filled to capacity, if everyone is showing faith in coming to the game, we have to get everything right at our end. It is going to be a fantastic day for the town." Reports suggest that the game could bring in up to £35,000, some 40% of the revenue for the whole season.
Back in the town centre, Rangers fan Derry Crighton, from Forfar, said he wasn't going to the game but that his son Kier, eight, was going with his grandparents. "It'll be some game and it should be good for Brechin as well," he said.
There is no taking away the sense of occasion that Brechin feels. Almost everyone wants to be part of the event. "We've had people coming in, trying to get memorabilia for the game, looking for tickets," says Taylor at the Brechin Advertiser. "People from Germany have been phoning up, trying to find out how to get tickets."
At the Stables, Alan Renilson disclosed that he had had four spare tickets. "I've given three to friends who are Rangers fans from Glasgow. They phoned and said they'd love to come up but they had no tickets, and, as fate would have it, our Tennents rep said yesterday he had had some spares."
As for the fourth ticket, that is being kept in reserve for a Rangers-supporting cousin of his from Jedburgh. It's a long drive from the Borders to Brechin, but not if you're a football fan keen to be part of club history.
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