Legal Action

The Board and staff at the Club are embroiled in preparation work for the SFA arbitration process that starts this week in respect of the action raised by Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle.

As confirmed in our joint statement on Friday, we, along with Dundee United and Cove Rangers, were pleased with Lord Clark’s decision to refer the dispute to arbitration. However, we remain angry that we are having to devote considerable time and incur significant legal costs in defending this action. Together the three Clubs have already incurred costs of over £50,000 and face further legal fees for the arbitration process that could take the total bill to over £150,000.

Given the serious financial implications of these escalating legal costs for Dundee United, Cove Rangers and ourselves, the three clubs have considered withdrawing from the arbitration process and allowing the expert panel of arbiters to judge the case without any submissions from us in defence of our case. However, we believe (and our external legal advisors have confirmed same) that there is too much at stake not to defend our position against the petition, which is seeking to reverse a decision that was made by 81% of the SPFL member clubs.

If successful in their action, in our opinion the petitioners would compromise the sporting integrity of the SPFL, with clubs having been declared champions of their league not being promoted. Having won League 1 and invested substantial sums of money in preparing for next season in the Championship, a decision to overturn the SPFL Resolution that was supported by 34 of the 42 member clubs would be ruinous for us and our fans.

Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle could also be awarded significant sums in terms of compensation. Their compensation claim is for a total of £10 million. For the SPFL and its member clubs this would have potentially catastrophic consequences, with any compensation payment made to them being paid directly out of SPFL funds that are distributed to all clubs each season as prize money.

It is with these factors in mind, that, along with Dundee United and Cove Rangers, we are reaching out to our fellow member clubs for support in defending this action, which has not only potentially grave consequences for us, but every SPFL club. We also intend running a joint crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help fund the huge legal bills that we face. We hope that as well as our own supporters, fans of clubs across Scotland will see this as a worthy cause to get behind – If we are unsuccessful in defending the legal action it could have serious ramifications for the whole of Scottish football.

Details of how to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign will be issued shortly.

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