Scottish football has been left in limbo as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the shutdown of football across the planet and sees the SPFL and Scottish FA look for a resolution to the season.
It is understood by NTOF that the SPFL’s preferred option is to end the season after the last round of games with clubs promoted and relegated as usual, although the playoffs would be scrapped.
That would crown Celtic as Premiership champions, see Hearts relegated and be replicated through the other three divisions.
With clubs unsure of what the next step will be, one club director has blasted the “self-interest” he feels is pushing the decision-making process with his side set to miss out on a potentially lucrative playoff place.
Although it could ultimately see his side denied promotion this season, he admits that some clubs may not have the financial power to challenge the decision, should the SPFL push ahead with it.
Speaking exclusively to NTOF, they confirmed the SPFL’s proposal is to award trophies on the current standings as well as going into depth about the potential ramifications.
“We’d be furious if that happened. The current plan comes down to there being no creative thinking at the SPFL, self-interest driving decisions and looking at rules that weren’t written for these circumstances and I think that it is unacceptable.
“It could end up in a legal row, I’m not sure we would go down the legal route, unless there was some sort of collective action, but I don’t think all the individual clubs will have the resources to fight it through the courts.
“You might see some sort of banding together of clubs that all feel aggrieved in that situation though. You’ll also have individual clubs who will take their own action.
“It just feels like the wrong answer to the questions that we’re facing.”
Despite potentially missing out on the chance to win promotion through the playoffs, the club remain confident they will “cope” with the financial implications for them and insisted there were a “handful of people” responsible for pushing the narrative and called on the SPFL to look for a consensus amongst clubs which benefits as many of them as possible.
“We budgeted to break even this year so we’d operate next season on a break-even budget as well. We will need to see what the rest of this season bring but will cope with it if that’s what happens but there’s a general feeling that good, constructive solutions being put forward but are being squashed without any real debate. They are being squashed by a handful of people without proper discussion with the rest of the clubs.
“If the consensus with clubs is that it’s the right thing to do, then fine, but what is the consensus? I’m not sure we’re being properly consulted on those potential solutions and that needs to happen.
“We’ve got time to be able to do that. There’s not going to be games for the foreseeable future so there’s no reason for football to quickly jump to any conclusion. I know there are decisions to be made on cash distribution and things like that but be creative. Make interim solutions; have discussions with broadcasters and sponsors for the good of all the clubs rather than the narrow factional interests.”
After speaking with some of the other SPFL clubs, it seems there are only a “handful” who see the leagues preferred position as “potential solution” and he believes most clubs wouldn’t be “fundamentally opposed” to taking some time to make the best decision for all 42 clubs rather than four.
“I’ve not spoken to many other clubs but knowing the people that I will speak to, and have already, I can’t see them being too fundamentally opposed to taking time. We’re talking about a handful of clubs who see (freezing the standings as being the potential solution but I think most aren’t really interested in that.
“There are levels of unfairness in all the solutions but you look at the preferred solution and it only really favours four clubs and disadvantages everyone else.”
“Someone on the radio last night said that to get a change to the structure, it would need a vote of 75% of the members. Ok. Let’s sit down and talk then. In this sort of situation, you need to get the views of all the clubs and have a vote but I don’t see any of that being organised and that has to happen.
“In these kinds of times, what you should be doing is getting all of the members together, talking it through, playing out the scenarios then having a vote on what is the best way forward. People will say we’ve not got time to do that but it is exceptional times. If 75% of the clubs want to change, that’s what we need to do.”