A determination to ensure Cove Rangers are able to defend themselves at an SFA arbitration panel is why Roy McBain’s taking on the challenge of walking from the Balmoral Stadium to Tannadice.
At 10pm tonight, former Cove player and coach McBain, ex-Cove, Dundee United, Aberdeen and Peterhead defender Mark Perry and fan Ian Yule are starting a 63-mile trek from the Granite City to the City of Discovery.
The sponsored walk is to raise money to meet Cove’s legal costs. The League Two champions, along with Championship winners Dundee United and League One table-toppers Raith Rovers, have been dragged into a legal battle as Hearts and Partick Thistle try to overturn their relegations.
The case initially went to a Court of Session hearing and will now be settled by an SFA arbitration panel.
Cove, United and Raith have already racked up combined legal costs of £50,000, and with the total set to surpass £150,000 the clubs had considered pulling out of the arbitration process.
However, they’ve decided to defend themselves which has sparked the fundraising.
McBain, who won four Highland League titles with Cove and helped them win promotion to the SPFL last year, said: “For me I just want to see the three teams get a fair crack of the whip and be able to get their points across during the case.
“That’s why I’m doing this to try to help the clubs with that.
“Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove all won a lot of games and then the decision was made to end the season (in April) which I think was the right one in the circumstances.
“So when these teams have won the amount of games they did, I do think they deserve to be promoted.”
This walk has already raised almost £8,000, a total that will be matched by an anonymous local businessman with connections to the club.
Along the way McBain, Perry and Yule will be joined by Cove manager Paul Hartley, director of football John Sheran, youth coach Gary Hake, secretary Duncan Little and a host of former players and coaches.
McBain added: “I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be a good challenge. It’s all happened very quickly before the enormity of it had really sunk in.
“It’s good to be able to do it with Mark and Ian and there’s going to be a lot of good company joining us for various stretches along the way.
“It will be good to catch up with a few of the old boys, that will keep the spirits up and give us inspiration as well.
“The total is really good and it’s amazing how generous everyone has been.
“The donations seem to have been quite widespread and I’ve seen Dundee United and Raith Rovers fans chipping in as well. It’s all about just trying to raise support and awareness for the three clubs.”
Anyone wishing to donate can do so at gofundme.com/f/balmoral-to-tannadice-walk