After a fantastic journey, Gretna Football Club are no more.
Having only entered the Scottish football league in 2002, they rose through through the divisions metorically, reaching the SPL in only five years, thanks to backer Brooks Mileson.
They were bottom of, and effectively relegated from, the SPL by the time they entered administration this season. They were relegated to the Scottish First Division at the end of the SPL fixtures and only a few days ago were demoted to Division Three after they could not ensure they would complete their First Division fixtures for 2008/09.
Today, the rise and fall was completed as Gretna resigned from the football league and administrators concluded that the club could not continue as a business after having debts totalling £4m and releasing 22 players in March.
An SFL spokesperson said:
I have received intimation from the Gretna FC administrator of their resignation from the Scottish Football League with immediate effect.
I have accepted this resignation on behalf of the Scottish Football League and accordingly, we now have a vacancy in the Third Division and are seeking applications.
The SFL will now look for a new team to replace the Gretna-shaped hole in the football league, with a deadline of 12 June applicants set.
Each applicant will be assessed and the other 29 SFL clubs will vote on July 3 to decide which club has been invited to join the Scottish Third Division for the 2008-09 season.
The front runners for the vacant spot are East of Scotland League Premier sides Spartans, Annan Athletic and Preston Athletic and Cove Rangers from the Highland Football League.