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Decision Time Coming for SFL Clubs

July 5, 2012

FOLLOWING the meeting of SFL clubs on 3rd July, ongoing discussions with Sonstrust and the decision of the SPL not to admit Newco Rangers next season, Dumbarton FC’s directors have pledged to engage with fans before deciding how to vote at the SFL General Meeting next week.

The aim of the consultation meeting at Dumbarton Football Stadium at 11.00am on Saturday is to ensure that Sonstrust members, season ticket holders and Club shareholders have the full facts about the implications of how the SFL consider the Newco’s application – and, specifically, what level they should start at.

Though passions continue to run high, information has been thinner. At the 3rd July meeting Scottish Football League members were left in little doubt about the immediate facts they have to face in choosing which way to go.

Trust and Club director Alan Findlay, who was present along with Club chairman Alan Jardine, says the tone and content of the gathering was (contrary to some comments in the media) constructive. It included a clear presentation of the implications of the Newco decisions for SFL clubs, a frank exchange of views, acknowledgment of the strength of sentiment among supporters, and perspectives from representatives of the SFL, the SPL and the SFA.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir has pushed hard for wider changes to ensure the survival and prospects of smaller clubs in Scotland, but shares serious concerns about the consequences of putting the Newco in the lowest tier. Everyone wants to see Rangers appropriately punished, but the issue is how to do this without allowing their situation to cause further serious or even irreparable damage to the fabric of the game and to smaller clubs.

On the importance of supporters’ feedback, Mr Longmuir commented: “Many fans have shared with us their concerns and their views on opportunities for the broader game which may arise out of the current issue. I can confirm that every piece of communication has been read objectively and sincerely, and that many contributions have been insightful and thought-provoking.” It wouldn’t be possible to reply to all the letters personally, but all are being taken into account, he added.

Some Clubs have already taken a public view on the Newco. But others, including Dumbarton, Alloa and Partick, have waited to get full information from the SFL first, and have then arranged to engage with their fans before making a final decision.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. gcyule permalink
    July 6, 2012 12:02 pm

    It is disgusting the way the SPL and the SFA have passed the buck here.
    Normally the “wee diddy clubs” dont get a say in anything but now they are being asked to make or break Scottish football.
    You can bet that the clubs shouting loudest are hoping for an invite to sphell 2 and we will be relegated again.
    The corrupt bodys that run the game should go and do not look back

  2. Tom Paterson permalink
    July 6, 2012 3:38 pm

    Fellow Trusts,
    Can we, as a unit, put together a document which we should all agree to. Please answer by return if your trust is willing to give support to this.


    This current situation has not been created by the Scottish Football League however the events of the last few days have turned the unwelcome focus on all SFL Clubs and the football league organisation we are part of. We applauded the SPL clubs for the stance they took last week and showing leadership to other clubs and supporting the stance that a huge majority of fans had been lobbying for.

    We would like to see the following five fundamental principles.
    1. One governing body.
    2. Larger leagues with clubs playing each other twice only with more promotion and relegation.
    3. A fairer distribution of wealth which is awarded on merit not on status or size.
    4. Play-Offs in all leagues as take place in England and the lower SFL leagues.
    5. A fairer democratic voting system is introduced.

    If Scottish football fails grasp this opportunity to radically shape the game to what their REAL long term partners want then it may never recover properly from these traumatic events.

    We believe that under no circumstances should a Newco be parachuted into any division of the football league but should apply to gain entry via the bottom of the pyramid system. No club, no matter their size or influence should be awarded favoured status. All clubs must start to live within their means and if commercial pressures are coming from both sponsors and media partners in difficult times and they are not being supportive we would suggest that these are the wrong partners for the long term. It is time for Football Clubs to support their true long term partners – THE FANS.

    Just as we discussed and voted for last year.

    This document could be distributed to each of our football club boards before the SFL decision is to take place next Friday, letting them know how we as fans feel on the inclusion of a #newco into the Scottish Football League, it should also released into the press and other media.

    Tom Paterson
    Chairman, on behalf of BairnsTrust Committee

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