Fined to oblivion

Date: 8th December 2020

The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:

Fined to Oblivion?

There was a point at which I thought it was faintly ridiculous but now, in the midst of a pandemic the people in charge of our game have gone one step beyond that.

The madness that has gripped them, this membership based club, is that the balance between representing their membership, through advocating on their behalf for fans to return whilst trying to keep their house in order has tipped, once again, to all stick and very little carrot.

I met Jack Ross a few times in my Kicktalk days and he was truly great copy. He had a demeanour, even in defeat, that was calm and quick to analyse and not lay blame where it was not due. If it was his fault, he took it. When someone of that calibre calls decisions, a “disappointing day for Scottish football” you should take note.

To what was he referring?

St. Mirren forfeited two matches and Kilmarnock one for breaches of SPFL rules and with a £40,000 suspended fine the compounding of the approach was done. Clubs may go out of business and the SPFL are fining them… really?

At the end of the year the difference between a top 6 finish or being in the bottom six could be those three points lost by Kilmarnock. Relegation or the play off could be decided on the basis of those 6 for St. Mirren. A fine that is imposed because another eejit breaks protocol could decide if clubs are able to withstand the effects of COVID-19 and survive or struggle not to enter administration, receive further punishment, fall down a league or two and take ages to get back up the leagues.

Who suffers? The people who are there after the five or six years in the wilderness… The fans.

But the SPFL feel that a sporting advantage was sought by the Buddies and Killie. Let’s remind ourselves of what Jack Ross pointed out in his article on the BBC website, “Reading some of the breaches they’ve been found guilty of, like not sitting far enough apart on a coach, I’m sure players have sat closer together on an aeroplane with national teams. The SPFL have deemed it a fit punishment. We all have to adhere to that, but I think it’s a disappointing day for Scottish football when we get to that point.”

Even the man who benefited from it all made a salient point in the same article, “We’re not in control of anything at the moment,” said Motherwell manager, Stephen Robinson.

If he can see it, why can’t the rest of the membership?

Disruption to training, closing down get togethers, games being cancelled, fixtures piling up and on top of a global pandemic that is killing people we get the SPFL giving it large with fines and points given away.

Thanks for your support for the game…

Not.

Having produced a photograph of all the players and coaching staff in the traditional pre season group photo, Dundee United must be quaking in their boots after losing so many over the last weekend of play to COVID-19. They might already be on the naughty step waiting to hear how long they have to stay there for… The SPFL will have another answer to that one… no doubt…


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