THE Buffs will leave Abbey Park and move to Kilwinning Sports Club, the Times can exclusively reveal.

After months of rumour and speculation Kilwinning Rangers Chairman Colin Boyd has revealed that the move to the Pennyburn club is “going to happen” due to the state of Buffs’ current home Abbey Park.

Speaking exclusively to the Times Colin said while nothing has been officially signed and sealed, the move “makes sense” and should go ahead.

He said: “It will happen at some point in the future, that’s the truth of it. Whether it be one, three or 10 years from now, it will happen.

“It’s inevitable because we can’t afford to do up Abbey Park. It will cost at least halfa-million pounds and it’s simply too much for us.

“We have the second worse facilities in the West of Scotland and the Sports Club is just down the road and is a £3.8million facility which essentially doesn’t get used on a Saturday.

“At the moment we train there and hold all our meetings there. The only thing we do at Abbey Park now is play matches there. It just makes sense.”

But Colin says the sentimental attachment to Abbey Park – where The Buffs have played since 1929 – is “not lost” on him.

He said: “We are putting it to our fans and I think the majority are behind this move, but there are also people who feel a huge emotional attachment to Abbey Park and that is not lost on us here at the Club.

“The problem is the history and sentiment are there but the facilities are not and that’s what’s lacking.

“At the moment our operational costs are £23,000 per year. If we move to the Sports Club those costs will be £10,000 per year.

“That is a huge difference to a club like us and it would have a massive impact. That’s money that could be used on stands and players.

“We are hoping to have an open day at the Sports Club for the fans to come down and have a look round and see the facilities there.

“We don’t want to leave the history behind, we are not getting rid of the memories, we are just wanting to move forward and create some new ones. Kilwinning Sports Club Director Jim Hodge says the club would welcome The Buffs and have already forged a strong relationship through youth football. Jim says the club would look to rebrand the ground “New Abbey Park – Home of Kilwinning Rangers”.

He said: “Following past struggles Kilwinning Sports Club has changed its business model which has put us in a better financial position.

“We have new young dynamic individuals who have joined the Board of Trustees who have the expertise to take us forward.

“We would love to see Kilwinning Rangers move here. Our mission statement is already ‘One Club, One Town, One Team’ and if they move to the club we would wholeheartedly support that with accommodating them and rebranding the ground as “New Abbey Park – Home of Kilwinning Rangers”.