It must cause some cognitive dissonance for Hearts and Partick Thistle to use the excuse that as the Court of Session refused to hear their claim against the SPFL, they are not prepared to allow the subsequent arbitration panel’s judgement to be published.
In a joint statement, the clubs wrote: “Hearts and Partick Thistle always wanted this matter to be heard in open court in the interest of total transparency. If the SPFL had not sought to have that court action sisted for arbitration then all hearings would have taken place in the public domain, including any necessary examination of witnesses, consideration of documentary evidence and full legal submissions.
“We do not believe sharing the judgement on its own would be appropriate.”
We are deep in Trump-populist territory here. The SPFL insisted the rules were followed and the Court of Session agreed, neither the League nor the Court had any choice in the matter.
The clubs’ statement goes on: “The SPFL went so far as to tell the member clubs that if they even wanted sight of their Answers to the Court of Session petition, they needed to enter the court proceedings.” They did not add that the SPFL were legally obliged to restrict distribution of Court submissions to petitioners.
The arbitration panel’s judgement is the only document produced; this is the only item that can be disclosed. All parties need to agree to disclosure, the SPFL, Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers all gave permission, while Hearts and Thistle – the losers, declined.
The rules state that is the end of the matter, no one from the winning side has any complaints about disclosure rules being enforced by the losers. So why are Fran and Anna still digging themselves into a deeper hole? “In the interests of total transparency”, they wanted the SPFL and Court of Session to conspire to break League rules and as that did not happen, they want zero transparency.
Is it any wonder Hearts finished well below Hamilton and Ross County, while Partick finished 10 points adrift of Arbroath with these two in charge? A period of self-reflection might reveal these two were significantly culpable in their clubs demise, and are wholly responsible for whatever punishment is handed out for breaking the rules by going to the Court of Session.