SPFL: Slaves To TV And Lack Integrity


Do you remember when Rangers went into liquidation and were sent down to the bottom tier of Scottish football? Well do you also remember the buzzword for that summer?


The clubs stood together as one and insisted that Rangers start a fresh in the old Third Division as the rest of Scottish football had to ignore certain commercial pressures and instead listen to their fans!

Well now in 2015 the SPFL seem to have forgotten the meaning of sporting integrity and certainly didn’t take into account the fans when they decided to rearrange just one of the final Championship fixtures in early May.

To move just the Hearts versus Rangers match seems ridiculous, especially considering how close it is between the Gers and Hibs for that vital second spot in The Championship.

Now the SPFL have said that they offered every other team the chance to change their fixture to the Sunday too. But alas this is a decision that the SPFL should have made themselves and not one that should be given to their member clubs. Listen all teams fighting for similar places in a league should play at the same time, it makes no sense to have it any other way.

Also why has it taken so long for these details to be ironed out?

Obviously the league has been dictated to by the TV networks, mainly due to the fact that they panicked and sold their soul to them after the Rangers crisis. Companies like SKY and BT Sport will constantly treat our game like its second rate compared to the English Premier League but SPFL supremo Neil Doncaster needs to develop a backbone and insist that games for TV are scheduled much earlier. Lets face it the EPL wouldn’t have allowed this to happen. Doncaster’s job is to protect the product, by continually allowing the TV companies to dictate things it just weakens future contract negotiations.

To give the fans, who have been going to games all season, just two and a half weeks notice and to then do it in such a sloppy fashion, that could see more changes, just shows disrespect to your shareholders!

Hearts owner Ann Budge obviously agrees…

“Being given 17 days’ notice of this change is extremely disruptive and potentially very expensive for the fans, the sponsors and indeed the club. Overseas supporters have been in touch to advise that they will lose substantial amounts on travel; others have advised of lost earnings, holiday problems, etc.”

The SPFL have yet to convince me that they have a long-term view or strategy. No wonder they still struggle to find a main sponsor. Everything seems to be slapdash and done on a whim.

For me, well they need new direction and that has to start at the top.

Neil Doncaster is an unconvincing leader and the quicker the Scottish clubs figure that out the better. If only the fans could hold a general election to find a new Chief Executive for the SPFL, then we’d see a huge turnout and probably a change for the better!

One Response to “SPFL: Slaves To TV And Lack Integrity”

  1. A good read, but just to correct one thing..Rangers were liquidated, so it was then impossible for them to be sent down to the third tier.They actually died and a new Rangers were placed in the third tier despite the rules of association in not having three years accounts, which had been a pre requisite for admission to the league.

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