Lots Of Questions As SPFL Declare Victory With Ann Budge, Partick Thistle & Dundee Queries Unanswered

How Hearts have a huge boost in avoiding relegation with Ann Budge looking on
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JUNE 30: Ann Budge, Owner, CEO and Chairwoman of Hearts during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round match between Heart of Midlothian FC and FC Infonet Tallinn at Tyncastle Stadium on June 30, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Evening all. There are lots of questions as SPFL declare victory in their bid to pass the super controversial resolution which has embroiled Scottish football for over a week now. While Steven Gerrard calling out the SPFL was a welcome move, there needed to be more outrage from the involved parties in this SPFL fiasco.

Partick Thistle decided not to go ahead with a legal challenge: WHY?

The first red flag for us was the decision of Partick Thistle not to go ahead with a legal challenge. They had their reasons as laid out this statement. Their current position was almost a 180-degree turn from their previous statement just a couple of days back. In today’s announcement, Thistle said, “If we were to take this action to court, there is a risk that might stop the release of much-needed monies to those clubs on Friday. That’s a step too far for us. Regardless of what’s been inflicted on Thistle, we can’t be responsible for pushing even one club to the brink. It would be hypocritical of us to have espoused “do no harm” as a reason why we shouldn’t be relegated and then do exactly that.

“Taking all of that into account, although we stand by the legal Opinion, the Board has agreed that we will not seek “further remedy” against the SPFL in order to overturn the Resolution. Although we remain at a loss to understand why a decision was taken – at a time when Governments are seeking to support jobs across sectors – that will cause significant damage to Thistle and others.”

This is frankly absurd. You do not go through the trouble of getting a QC statement and then informing the SPFL and the world how their actions were unlawful, only then to back down a couple of days later. Also, we are sorry, but we do not buy the money argument. As stated by Stranraer, “From the figures being reported, the largest majority of the payments referred has already been received by member clubs, as it is paid in instalments throughout the season, so despite the articles that have claimed Stranraer FC were due to receive anywhere between £25,000 and £75,000, to the complete contrary, we will in fact receive only a nominal amount that would not even meet that of one week’s wage bill.”

So if there was only a nominal amount on the table here, why did Partick Thistle (or even Stranraer) feel comfortable backing their initial assessment that if the SPFL resolution is passed on the backing of a flipped Dundee vote, it would not be lawful? We will not make any allegations but feel free to draw your own conclusion. When one club says that they felt like a gun was being put to their head. ‘Vote for us or else…’, you feel concerned.

Before you say. getting favourable terms in reconstruction talks, please read the next point on Hearts chairman Ann Budge.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard looks on during the Ladbrookes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and St Johnstone at Ibrox Stadium on February 16, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The strange case of Ann Budge

Ann Budge has been a mystery all along. While mostly on board with the consensus that the SPFL has bungled things and this is not how the season should be decided, she has looked willing to play ball with the authorities. Ann Budge has been tasked with a reconstruction task force to look into the possibility of a 14 or a 16 team Premiership. Either of those scenarios will see Hearts stay in the Premiership.

Now, let’s make a prediction. This reconstruction proposal will not have the votes and will hence not pass. This would require an 11-1 vote in the Premiership, and we are sorry but this will never happen. Most teams want more games against Celtic and Rangers, and every team will be out for themselves to ensure they are in the best financial stepping possible. It’s not as if the SPFL will go out of their way to get this proposal passed either as the new Sky contract which will come into effect from next season asks for a guarantee of 4 Old Firm derbies. While that is technically possible in a reconstructed league, that is a LOT of hassle just to placate one team. So with most teams probably voting down any kind of reconstructed league and with SPFL being half-assed about this, why is Ann Budge putting all her eggs in this basket?

The answer is unknown to us as the Hearts chairman is not inexperienced with the politics of Scottish football. She must see how unlikely it is that a reconstructed league proposal passes. Maybe, it is just sheer dumb hope, the thing that kills the best of us. We wish her the best in her endeavours. The stadium expansion was an expensive gamble and trying everything to stop Hearts from being relegated is an understandable course of action. However, it would have probably been better to call out SPFL’s bluff on the botched vote. Well, she has made her bed and must now sleep on it.

Dundee, oh Dundee!

We genuinely don’t even have a clue why Dundee decided to flip their vote. To allow arch-rivals Dundee United to be promoted as Champions by changing their initial vote was something else. It’s not as if we can even see what concessions they got out of the SPFL out of this? Even if they manage some friendlies with some top clubs, as have been reported elsewhere, how much good would that do?

We are exhausted, and to see an organisation as incompetent as the SPFL get all the clubs in line was fascinating. Over to you Rangers, let’s see what cards you hold!

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