Sons call for unity

Chair­man ex­plains vote on SPFL en­quiry

Lennox Herald - - FRONT PAGE - FRASER CLARKE

Dum­bar­ton chair­man John Steele has called on Scot­tish clubs to find a way of work­ing to­gether pos­i­tively af­ter the Sons were one of 27 to vote against an in­de­pen­dent SPFL in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In an­other tur­bu­lent week in the board­rooms of Scot­tish foot­ball, Rangers’ pro­pos­als for a probe into the gov­ern­ing body high­lighted se­ri­ous con­cerns about how the vote to end the sea­son early was car­ried out.

The Glas­gow side claimed they had a “dossier of ev­i­dence” and that clubs were “bul­lied” into vot­ing in favour of end­ing lower league sea­sons in April. Their case was backed by 13 SPFL clubs in­clud­ing Aberdeen, Hearts and Stran­raer.

How­ever, the Sons were one of those to vote against the pro­posed in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Steele (below) ex­plained: “We voted against the res­o­lu­tion be­cause, af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of the ob­jec­tions raised, we did not think the rea­sons put for­ward were suf­fi­ciently im­por­tant, rel­e­vant or in some cases, suf­fi­ciently sub­stan­ti­ated to merit the time, cost and ef­fort of an in­de­pen­dent in­quiry.

“That does not mean that there are no ques­tions about gover­nance, pro­ce­dure and struc­ture with re­gard to the way the SPFL op­er­ates.

“There clearly are, and th­ese need to be con­sid­ered care­fully once a path­way beyond lock­down and the cur­rent chal­lenges has been found.

“But in re­la­tion to the mo­tion for an in­de­pen­dent en­quiry, our con­cern was that, in ad­di­tion to be­ing un­nec­es­sary on the terms in which it was for­mu­lated, it would only have cre­ated fur­ther dis­trac­tion, divi­sion and di­ver­sion at a time when all clubs and ac­tors within the game need to be find­ing ways of work­ing to­gether pos­i­tively.”

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion’s fail­ure to clear the first hur­dle looks set to re­turn league re­con­struc­tion to the agenda – just weeks af­ter a planned 14/14/14 sys­tem that would’ve seen Sons mov­ing into the sec­ond-tier was re­jected.

How­ever, man­ager Jim Duffy be­lieves that now isn’t the time for a dras­tic over­haul of the sys­tem.

He told the Len­nox: “I’m not a big fan of re­con­struc­tion. There are far big­ger things fac­ing Scot­tish foot­ball at the mo­ment and re­con­struc­tion shouldn’t be to save clubs, it should be the best thing for clubs at a par­tic­u­lar mo­ment in time.

“I don’t agree with Hearts, Partick This­tle and Stran­raer go­ing down – but clubs had a de­ci­sion to make and that’s what they voted on.

“What­ever is de­cided on will leave some clubs un­happy and some feel­ing as if they’ve got out of jail.

“To rush that through and try to save clubs from rel­e­ga­tion is wrong now though. If re­con­struc­tion was on the agenda then it should’ve been dis­cussed six months ago.

“The sys­tem we have at the mo­ment is as good as any, it’s com­pet­i­tive and the play­offs at ei­ther end give all teams some­thing to play for.”

Vice-chair­man Colin Hosie added: “Re­con­struc­tion is off the table for now, but it may well come back. “We are continuing to con­sult with our sup­port­ers, and we will be look­ing to par­tic­i­pate con­struc­tively in any fu­ture dis­cus­sions on league struc­ture and gover­nance.”

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