Crease hits out at Shielfield slur

FORMER Berwick manager Jimmy Crease has hit out at suggestions the club’s Shielfield Park facilities do not come up to scratch.

Crease, who stood down as manager last season, but who is still an associate director at the club, was responding to suggestions in a newspaper article in which it suggested the Rangers newco would be in for a culture shock when they visit next season.

Crease hit the roof when Queen’s Park stopper Richie Sinclair tore into third tier stadiums in Tuesday’s Record Sport.

The Spiders star claimed going to Berwick would be a “culture shock” for Ibrox giants Rangers.

But Crease said: “We have one of the best playing surfaces in the country, that includes all SPL teams.

“Newcastle, Rangers, Middlesbrough and other big sides have all played here because the playing surface is so good.

“It’s even better than Hampden so it’s derogatory to talk like that about parks like this.

“All our dressing rooms were refurbished last year and we even have a picture of the showers at Ibrox and they’re practically identical.

“There has been a lot of hard work in bringing our dressing rooms up to scratch. This season we have taken on major refurbishments and have taken away part of the board room and made a dining room for hospitality.

“I was a wee bit upset about some of the comments. Berwick were mentioned in the piece but our dressing rooms and playing surface are second to none.”

Current Berwick boss Ian Little said: “The changing rooms have been done up and are quite exceptional now and the pitch is also up there. The standard is so high and we have done a lot of work on the park.

“I’ve seen some terrible grounds but they have improved a lot over the last three or four years.”

Crease said: “We are a club that got a break a few years ago when we drew Celtic in the Scottish Cup and we have built on that.

“We have no debts at all, unlike many others and the playing surface is the envy of many. That’s due to the groundsman.”

If you had any doubts – just ask champions Celtic who descended on the sleepy Borders town in the Scottish Cup last year.

Neil Lennon’s side won 2-0 at Shielfield Park in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup in January 2011 and Crease points out they had no complaints from them.

“People think we don’t have the facilities to cope with this and we were named in this story but we shouldn’t have been.

“We have better facilities than what has been made out and we are up there with the best in Scotland.”