Dunfermline Athletic

The only way is ethics

Date: Sunday, 21st Jun 2020

The only way is ethics though not, it would seem, in Scottish Football.

This week`s 16-26 vote on League Reconstruction was a new low even for the SPFL, which has failed to show good governance throughout.

Now they must hold their breath as Hearts and Partick Thistle proceed to the Court Of Session.

There is precedent.

The French National Court has ruled that there cannot be relegation after Ligue 1 was ended early after Toulouse and Amiens appealed.

In Belgium there was the similar decision regarding the demotion of Waasland-Beveren from the Jupiter Pro League.

It remains to be seen if Hearts and Patrick Thistle will go for interdict. That would stop the new Scottish Football Season in its tracks and is the nuclear button.

Of course, the reason for the voting figures was economically driven. The Premiership clubs have long had their snouts in the trough taking 84% of Broadcasting income and they were unwilling to accept two more mouths to feed in a 14 team Premiership.

UEFA has said Scottish Football has the most inequitable income distribution in Europe. We will witness that in a few days when Dunfermline Athletic receive £66,000 and eg Premiership Livingston £660,000.

If Scottish Football is incapable of saving itself than, after years of warnings, the Scottish Government should step in. The UK Government awarded English Rugby League £16m, a sport which contributes £141m to the economy(source Manchester Metropolitan University Report 2019). The Scottish Government should match that.

Scottish Football is worth £214m to the Scottish economy (Source Fraser of Allander Institute).The benefits to the country`s mental health are self evident.

Were such funds to be forthcoming, the Government would have considerable leverage tackling Scotland`s shame being the onlyUEFA Nation which has not adopted Strict Liability. It could demand an Independent Enquiry to overhaul the game including League Reconstruction and Income Distribution.

It is not just Hearts and Partick Thistle whose treatment is indefensible. Stranraer have been relegated. Falkirk, Edinburgh City, our friends at Kelty Hearts and Brora have a considerable grievance.

What are Partick Thistle and Falkirk to do if League 1 is mothballed or delays the season to January? Against that backdrop, it was bewildering that some Pars Fans ever doubted how our transparent Board had voted. They always take the moral high ground and act with integrity, a quality all too often in short supply these days.

Clubs will haemorrhage money with hundreds of jobs lost because the game is incapable of seeing beyond self interest.

Roy Macgregor, the Chairman of Ross County, has said "Hearts should take their medicine". His club was in free fall when the Season was called.
There but for the grace of God............


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