Jim Spence broke the news today that the SFA were going to force the SPL & the SFL to merge so that there will be only one body running a professional football league in Scotland.
So far the views on twitter would suggest anything from the rebirth of Scottish football to another Masonic conspiracy to get Sevco into the SPL with no sanctions.
My take on it is that we should look upon this as a positive move.
Since Rangers Football Club PLC went into administration on 14th February no organisation has wanted to pull the plug on them and be blamed by their fans for killing their club. We have lurched from one investigation to another and still there has been no punishment applied to RFC* apart from the statutory 10 points reduction for going into administration. This has proven to be pointless as it did not have any effect on the outcome of the SPL or the distribution of prize money.
The punishment served on RFC* by the SFA for bringing the game into disrepute is still under review after RFC* took the case to the CoS against the laws of SFA, UEFA & FIFA.
So far as punishments are concerned this is as far as we have come.
We are all aware if the incompetence’s of the SPL in ruling on paying players outside of contracts, making a decision on what would happen with a NewCo etc so I wont go over old ground.
Now that RFC* have not been able to agree a CVA with their creditors and are to be placed in Liquidation in the next few weeks we have moved to the next stage.
SPL chairmen have been a no win situation as described by Stephen Thompson of Dundee United and would be due to vote in the next few weeks on an application by NewCo which is expected on Monday. At the back of their mind is such things as Season Ticket renewals, fans revolts, SKY TV deal etc – Commercial viability vs Sporting Integrity, an argument that has went on for months.
Today’s announcement may take this out of their hands and turn a lose/lose situation into a win/win situation.
If the SPL & SFL merge then there will be only one body running the league in Scotland, without league reconstruction which seems impossible for next season this leaves us with 41 teams in four leagues with an opening for one new comer.
The new body will run the league and apply the rules to the leagues. The SFA will as now act as the ruling body for all of Scottish Football as is the present case and with the same responsibilities.
An arms length Commercial body will be set up to secure commercial deals away from the interference of club chairmen and for the benefit of all four leagues, so SKY may end up with a contract to show lower league football in Scotland as well as the top division (whatever it is called).
So how does this help everyone and why is it a positive?
- The vote on entry to SPL from NewCo is now unnecessary as SPL no longer exists. Chairmen are not going to go against their fans wishes in voting in NewCo.
- NewCo can apply for entry to league and take up vacant position without fear of sanction. If successful the “New Club” would be admitted to 4th league and attempt to work their way up.
- Commercial deals & TV deal would cover all 4 leagues with a new distribution of revenues. SKY could still show NewCo’s games and may look at NewCo vs. Celtic televised “Exhibition Games” as part of the deal
- Voting rights for all clubs would be looked at and changed to a “fairer” model
- SFA punishment against RFC* would either be dropped or applied to shell company which would be meaningless
- Investigation into payments outside of contracts would continue and if found guilty the 3-0 reversals and stripping of trophies would apply to the defunct RFC* possibly reducing their trophy count when they died
- NewCo would not have any history as they are not a continuation of RFC* and therefore cannot be punished by SPl, SFA, UEFA or FIFA. All governing bodies happy with outcome.
- Any outstanding football punishments applied to RFC* not New Club and a line would be drawn in the sand after Liquidation
- BDO will investigate financial dealings in RFC(IL) and will report to courts accordingly but this will have no bearing on football related matters
- FTT will finally report and again this will have no bearing on football related manners
- Punters through the gates in the top division would increase as fans would believe that they are witnessing a fairer game and their teams will have greater chances of European football and the money that brings (just look at Motherwell ST sales this year)
- Gates in the lower divisions would increase as the New Club which should have a fairly big following, plays their way up the leagues
- Scottish football can look forward to a brand new start with one body looking after league affairs with an autonomous body responsible for commercial deal, therefore no conflict of interest. A stronger SFA that is responsible for applying the laws of the game.
Well should we all look upon this as a positive, time will tell.
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