The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Jam­bos, Jags have noth­ing to lose.

Ex-Don Win nie fully un­der­stands why Hearts and Par tick This­tle have gone down a le­gal route

- BY PAUL THIRD Scottish Premier League · Soccer · Sports · Heart of Midlothian F.C. · Aberdeen F.C. · Partick Thistle F.C. · Partick · Scottish Professional Football League · London · Dundee United F.C. · Dundee · Bristol Rovers F.C. · Raith Rovers F.C.

For­mer Aberdeen de­fender David Winnie be­lieves Hearts and Partick This­tle have noth­ing to lose by fight­ing their rel­e­ga­tion.

The Jam­bos and the Jags have filed a pe­ti­tion with the Court of Ses­sion chal­leng­ing their rel­e­ga­tion due to the SPFL sea­son be­ing brought to an early end.

They have asked for pro­mo­tion and rel­e­ga­tion to be can­celled and are also seek­ing £10 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion. For­mer Don Winnie, who also played briefly for the Jam­bos, rates the joint le­gal chal­lenge as hav­ing a 50-50 chance of suc­cess.

Winnie, who is now head of sports law at a firm in Lon­don, said: “I can fully un­der­stand why they are go­ing down this route.

“They have noth­ing to lose. The op­tion of do­ing noth­ing means they would lose mil­lions. Have they got a real chance? I would put it no more than 50-50.”

Dundee United, Raith

Rovers and Cove Rangers, whose pro­mo­tion would be de­nied de­spite be­ing named cham­pi­ons of their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions should the le­gal chal­lenge suc­ceed, have an­nounced their in­ten­tion to fight the pe­ti­tion from Hearts and Partick.

Hearts and This­tle, who have asked for an ex­pe­dited hear­ing, have said they “re­serve the right” to ap­ply for an in­terim in­ter­dict to prevent the Pre­mier­ship sea­son start­ing while the SPFL has un­til to­mor­row to re­spond. The court will ei­ther de­cree they have ju­ris­dic­tion to ad­ju­di­cate or will de­cide it is a mat­ter for the SPFL and Winnie be­lieves it is in the in­ter­est of all par­ties to de­cide this is­sue as quickly as pos­si­ble.

Winnie said: “Lis­ten, no one wants this drag­ging on to the end of Au­gust, Septem­ber.

“Gen­er­ally, in some­thing of this na­ture, you could be look­ing at any­thing up to a year for it to rum­ble through the courts.

“But given the ur­gency, given the league is start­ing, they have asked for it to be ex­pe­dited so it goes into a timetable with the court where it will be done in a speedy fash­ion

“All par­ties will want a swift res­o­lu­tion to this, so every­one will try to fa­cil­i­tate that.

“There might be a sit­u­a­tion where they come to a set­tle­ment – on the steps of the court as it were – whereby the SPFL reaches a set­tle­ment with Hearts and Partick This­tle.

“For that to hap­pen, they would need to get the agree­ment of the other 40 clubs. They have seven days in which they can ac­cept the claim – which they are not go­ing to do – or they can de­fend it.

“Once we get a re­sponse, the court will have a look at this, and they will ei­ther say we have the ju­ris­dic­tion to look at this, or they will boot it back to the SPFL.

“The lat­ter would waste time which the clubs – and the SPFL – don’t have.

“Hearts and This­tle want this fast-tracked.”

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 ??  ?? LAW: For­mer Aberdeen de­fender says Hearts and Partick This­tle have noth­ing to lose by fil­ing a pe­ti­tion to the Court of Ses­sion chal­leng­ing their rel­e­ga­tion
LAW: For­mer Aberdeen de­fender says Hearts and Partick This­tle have noth­ing to lose by fil­ing a pe­ti­tion to the Court of Ses­sion chal­leng­ing their rel­e­ga­tion

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