Aberdeen’s chairman Dave Cormack reckons only an(other) independent inquiry will allow reconciliation in Scottish football, so will vote for one today. If only. I’m afraid the picture has moved on a mile or two from reconciliation. Statements by SPFL Dunfermline chairman Ross McArthur and by Brechin City, on behalf of chairman Ken Ferguson (both men are SPFL board members), make it clear the schism within Scottish football runs far deeper than misunderstanding or naked opportunism.
Dunfermline’s McArthur wrote: “I have to provide this statement following the release of accusatory comments in a Club Statement made by the Chairman and CEO of Inverness.
“Since the SPFL director’s resolution was first issued, a number of clubs in the Championship would confirm it is the behaviour of Inverness that has continually been aggressive and confrontational. However, no one felt it necessary to win points in public, as robust conversations take place in the normal course of a competitive business like football.
“Turning to the “allegation” regarding the information that was conveyed by me to Inverness FC, on Friday 10th April 2020.
“It most certainly wasn’t a threat, simply a potential consequence of their action not to back the SPFL resolution currently put in front of them, in favour of a counter resolution which was being mooted at that time.”
The Daily Record chased down this “counter resolution” from Inverness chief exec Scot Gardiner, which was to null and void all four SPFL leagues, removing the possibility of Inverness being promoted through league reconstruction, reducing their SPFL financial pay-out, expose the league to compensation claims from sponsors, broadcasters and others who paid for a league that did not happen.
Why would Inverness embark on a course of action that is so clearly counter to their and the game’s best interests?
In their statement yesterday, Brechin City wrote: “in the recent dossier released in support of the EGM taking place at the SPFL tomorrow… there is an accusation which is pointed directly at our Chairman… this states, “It has also been alleged that Ken Ferguson called League 2 clubs and told them that Inverness had changed their vote to YES and, as a result, the Resolution was going to be approved and that there was no point in League 2 clubs voting NO.””
They go on to state in the most unambiguous terms: “This is categorically refuted.
“In addition to anecdotal evidence from all of the other League 2 clubs, we have in our possession verification from each club that no such call was made. Furthermore, each League 2 club is content to provide corroboration to this effect and has stressed that they are entirely relaxed (and in reality appreciative) of the integrity Ken displayed in his role as an SPFL Director in the lead up to the vote.”
At least one party is bringing the game into disrepute and it is not the man with written verification from every club in his division confirming he is telling the truth. Today’s resolution will be rejected but the narrative will quickly move on.
Protagonists will make like as difficult as possible for Neil Doncaster, Rod McKenzie and Murdoch MacLellan and they will create havoc for the League if necessary to put their own men in the top jobs. If you think this was all about stopping Celtic win 9-in-a-row you are wrong, it is about power and control of what happens next.