Scottish Football - Elgin promise 'full investigation' into ticket fiasco

Elgin City FC have apologised after club staff lost their marbles, selling so many tickets for the home match against Rangers that police have ordered them to cancel the game.

The club - currently sitting second behind Rangers in Division Three - sold around 5,620 tickets for the game on Sunday, which would have been a massive new attendance record for the side. Not least because the capacity of their Borough Briggs ground is 4,520.

Fewer than 500 of the spectators at Borough Briggs get seats, however, with the remainder given standing room. The club's average attendance last season was 628 - the best in the divison.

The club has admitted that it has no idea how many tickets had actually been sold for the clash, only that it was way over the safe limit - leaving authorities no option but to insist that it is postponed.

"There has been a substantial over-sale of tickets for this fixture," a club statement said. "Elgin City could not confirm the exact number of tickets sold for this match. On the grounds of public safety, this match has now been postponed."

The club have promised a "full investigation" in to how ticket sales went so wrong, while police explained that they had little option than to call the game off.

"After discussions with the club it was clear that we were faced with the prospect of at least 1,100 extra fans turning up for what was an already sold-out fixture," said match commander superintendent Mark Cooper.

"We understand that fans will be disappointed with the cancellation of this match but our primary concern always has to be safety and we could not allow a situation that potentially put lives or the welfare of the general public at risk."

Rangers manager Ally McCoist was dismayed at the cancellation of a game which had also been due to be broadcast live on TV.

"There was no way the match could go ahead on safety grounds," he said.

"I am sure this is a huge disappointment to our supporters who have purchased match tickets and arranged travel in good faith.

"Elgin City have apologised to the club and we accept their apology but I feel for our fans."

Elgin fans will be even more annoyed: their side is two points behind Rangers thanks mainly to their superb home form, and they will have fancied the chance to knock the Glasgow giants off top spot.