Can a snake eat itself?

Date: 22nd June 2020

The latest blog from Donald Stewart:

Can a snake eat itself?

As I looked over and pondered the news that Hearts and Partick Thistle had not only launched legal action against the SPFL but that the SFA had suggested that they might launch some form of retaliatory action against the two clubs, I wondered if a body could implode in nature as much as it is being nurtured to do here.

Both clubs are right to take legal action if they feel that rules have been broken and they have been treated unfairly. They obviously do not lay much store by the internal processes of the SPFL, nor the sporting route to settle disputes as they have gone directly to the Court of Session to lodge their grievance.

The SFA response has been suitably outraged and outrageous. Football has previous for suggesting that it alone should decide maters within itself. Frequently when there is some kind of wrong -doing they cry foul and expect everyone to realisethat the sovereign nature of their regulatory body should be the ultimate arbiter in any dispute.


Are there legally adept people at its centre who can make sense of the nonsensical?

Are there people who have at their heart not just the good of the game but justice itself?

Having been up at one or two panels for miscreants held by the SFA and conducted through their Compliance Officer, in the words of an old teacher of mine – I hae ma doubts…

The civil war being wreaked upon our institutions does not help the cause of sponsorship or the promotion of the game is as self-evident a truth as the right of Cove Rangers, Dundee United and Raith Rovers to feel aggrieved that they have been given joy and then asked to haud oan a wee minute cos we might have called out the wrong name at the awards ceremony.

For at least two of these clubs their winning the league title was, like Celtic and Liverpool, the likely outcome and only a matter of time but Raith may be called to account as they won it by a formula that all right thinking people could suggest was a little fortuitous – certainly all those in Falkirk would.

To have money thrown at the coffers of legal firms whilst bail outs are being handled by a man with cash to spare and who is doing it all as a charitable gesture adds sufficient disharmony to the mix to highlight once again just how lacking we are of true leadership.

And that is not a dig at only the SFA…

It’s a dig at the state of football and the clubs themselves for they have only themselves to blame.

They created the formula and have stuck to it. Any opportunity for real change cannot come because what they have established is a system that needs so much compliance, so much agreement and so much by way of acceptance that it abuses those minorities with whom they disagree.

They set it up and by their hands they should suffer?

Not if the rules have been broken and as it stands there is evidence, they might well have been. The SFA need someone to come in and get them tellt. It looks like it shall be a legal eagle who will and that is a shame.

It’s a shame for the supporters of Cove, Dundee United and Raith because they deserve better. So too do the fans of Hearts, Stranraer and Falkirk. And Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers.

In fact we all do.

As to the question I posed at the beginning – yes it can, as we are about, in Scottish football, to witness.

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