SPFL turmoil is about power and control


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.

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  1. Sevco’s financial short fall for this season have been bridged by players and coaching staff taking a 3 month salary deferral and the government pushing back VAT deadlines.



    A large proportion of their current season ticket sales will be lost at the end of June when players get 3 months worth of salaries.



    Not sure when deferred VAT falls due but that’ll probably be the autumn.



    Without significant player sales or a share issue, they’ll be circling the drain in November.



    Park hasn’t the means to ‘invest’ more or he’d have done it already.

  2. Neustadt-Braw on

    Pog ” say” would work better if she had not said “that”….and a wee dramatic pause…with a Bojo dialect …



    smiley “I say ….(dramatic pause) … Estate Agents are opened in England as of today!” thing




  3. Insomniacs R Us


    Ave Ave


    As you can see on the link it’s being talked of for use when US Major League Sports restart.


    I fell asleep listening to the Clyde Podcast last night.


    Bhoy, were their tears sweet tasting.

  4. A decent sports journalist inScotland would today be following up on the reports of Scot Gardiner working on a null and void proposal.



    They’d be asking questions about who he was acting in concert with and how such a proposal could be squared with their fiduciary duties to their shareholders.



    I’m sure the BBC will be on it…

  5. Just seeing that the DR have indeed followed up on Gardiner.



    It’s a sad day for public broadcasting when the DR has to show the BBC how journalism works.

  6. NEUSTADT-BRAW on 13TH MAY 2020 9:50 AM



    Doesn’t quite work in a Brummy accent. 😂😂😂



    When she was younger she told me she went fishing down one of the Birmingham canals and she caught a whale!! Apparently it was a bicycle whale.



    We were going out one night and I was trying to decide which tie to wear and I said to her “What do you think, kipper tie?” She replied, “ No I’d rather have a cup of coffee.”



    On second thoughts maybe it should be say instead of see. 😉

  7. Hopefully HMRC will give Park a call to ask for all the paperwork relating to the £10m funding gap that he says has been covered.


    Must be taxable surely?

  8. I think Celtic & Pedro played this one very well. The Hun’s Bully Boy tactics blew up in their faces,


    They are a penniless bunch of casuals & can stir in their own bile & bitterness.


    In the meantime we will get a chance to win the QuadroFenian early next season & all kind of records are possible.


    Bring it on.

  9. The huns appear to have retreated but they will rely on their friends in Scottish media and SKY to keep stirring malcontent

  10. E-mail sent to BBC Complaints re Giving Headlines to the minority vote in their SPFL vote article.


    I asked that it could be looked at by BBC UK ( England) rather than BBC Scotland.


    Waste if time , I expect but it is cathartic composing the complaint !

  11. BackPage Press








    New #BetweenTheLines podcast!





    breaks down his Father-Ted-esque tale of Celtic stars playing in disguise to win a Donegal football tournament in 1964



    🎧 https://tinyurl.com/yac7oslq

  12. McPhail Bhoy on

    BOGNORBHOY on 13TH MAY 2020 7:33 AM



    Thanks for the voting list. Do you (or anyone else) have an insight into why clubs voted the way they did? We know about Sevco, Jambos, Dons, PT and ICT what about the others why would they vote yes? Rangers..ahem, inclined?


    To be honest the SPFL is a shambles but not in the way Sevco think and they do need to be reformed root and branch and finally Doncaster is a clown, there I’ve said it!

  13. Art of war at 10.23…… Tax is potentially payable on income (revenue) and/or profits. If a company receives £10M of investment that is typically one of 2 things – (1) the donor gets X amount of shares in return, or (2) it’s a loan that the donor might expect to get back along with a suitable return (interest). Neither of those situations cause any immediate tax bill as such.


    Anyway, in the case of Sevco I suspect, just like An Dun earlier this morning that its neither of those things but instead just semantics – players deferred their wages for 3 months and there was a relaxation on the due date for other bills (e.g. VAT) and these events have “saved” Sevco £X million for now. But those items haven’t gone away, just been postponed. Wee Alfie will be wanting his 3 months back wages at the end of June (or maybe end of May?).

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