On hearing the an arbitration panel decided in their favour and against Hearts and Partick Thistle, SPFL chairman, Murdoch McLennan said “I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered.” Chief executive, Neil Doncaster, said it was a “clear, comprehensive and unanimous decision”.
Instead of reflecting on a series of calamitous errors that saw Hearts and Partick bottom of their respective leagues, despite each club having vastly more resources than some who finished clear above them, or on the folly of having their case thrown out of the Court of Session to an arbitration panel, which exposes both clubs to punitive action, Scottish football’s Fran and Anna doubled down on self-righteousness.
Stoking anger is the leadership currency of our era and Thistle’s Jacqui Low got straight to it, “We have every right to be angry. So let’s use that anger as fuel”. Without any sense of self-awareness, she added, “Our fate and our success once again lies in our own hands and our hands only”, ignoring that Partick’s fate has floundered in her hands.
Hearts’ Budge said she was not surprised at the outcome, not least of all because her case had no merit whatsoever, but I get the sense that Hell will freeze over before she considers that were it not for her managerial appointments, and choice of belligerence, when Hearts needed to win support for league reconstruction, her club would still be in the Premiership.
The shambolic attack on the SPFL from a small number of clubs this spring was beyond belligerence. Hearts needed to win support for change. They behaved as though change was their right and support was unimportant. They then acted as though the lack of support they received was illegal.
Support was important, they should have actively sought it. It was not illegal for clubs to vote to end the season and to reject reconstruction in the manner they did. Hearts and Partick’s actions cost them and others unnecessary legal fees, jeopardised the new season and the bizarre jaunt to the Court of Session leaves them open to disciplinary action. With leadership like this, no wonder they finished adrift of Hamilton Accies and Arbroath respectively.
Two weeks after Leigh Griffiths was written off (by some) we all marvelled at his cameo against Hibs yesterday; that shuffle! He is an irrepressible talent and a prodigious goal scorer, with his recent record of absence, he will not attract an offer commensurate with what he provides. My money is on him scoring the goal that seals the 10.