Fine Fine Fine

Date: 10th August 2020

The latest blog by SFSA writer Donald Stewart:

Fine, fine, fine…


If Ann Budge or the Thistle board are stuck, then maybe the fans will stump up? Maybe both Hearts and Thistle have that kind of money swishing about in an undisclosed bank account held in an off shore graft account the tax man does not know about. Or maybe there is yet another twist in the saga as both clubs have just been fined for being self-interested enough to defend themselves in an action that they felt compelled to take because they don’t trust the processes of their governing bodies – either of them.

But who can blame them for what they did?

Well… the SFA have, for it is they that have doled out the fines

The irony of being fined for being self-interested by a body rife withs elf interest is nothing short of… ironic…

To be fair, no matter how hard this may be, to the SFA, these are hardly life changing sums of money and you have to give some credit that they have attempted to find some way of settling this without being over punitive. That having been said, from the outside looking in, this is yet another decision that leave some of us scratching our heads.

I have little doubt that both clubs shall pay up. They have been found guilty of breaching SFA’s rule 78 by taking court action and their reaction to the amount of the fines have been noted as reflecting that the petition, to the court, was “brought in good faith”.

It is time, so they say, to put things behind us all and move on.

We won’t.

As sure as eggs is eggs, there is another omelette on the horizon.

Court costs and the costs of the arbitration process are looming to be paid too and these shall no doubt augment the £2,500 to a point where the spectator, that is the paying public, the punter, the fan, shall see the effects of a lack of budget on their fields.

Some clubs will have less money paid out to attract the better players, the better facilities, the grassroots will have a few less quid and the people who haunt the Sportsound studios will have an opportunity as the season progresses to talk of a lack of investment in the footballing community; the distinct lack of facilities to allow access to the game; the poor development of young players in whatever type of structure that is being pursued; and then the Euro qualifiers against Israel et al, if we get past Israel, shall see yet another slew of accusations and counter accusations over the running of our game.

And what shall be the answer?

Bets on this shall be touted by the membership based organisations – that the SFA and SPFL are membership based organisations and if clubs want change all they have to do is to convince enough people and clubs, in a democratic process to vote for change.

At that point, of course clubs shall look back at the last time they disagreed, how that went down and count the cost of the fines doled out to them and think, naw, not worth it.

The fine may be £2,500 but the cost to the game is more than that and still counting…

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