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Why was ending the season the only way to release payments?

MacLennan described the suggestion to lend clubs money – which was made by Rangers – as “deeply flawed” and a “red herring” and stated company law ensured they could not circulate an “ineffective” resolution to clubs. He declared the board would not have had time to complete due diligence on loans to potentially 42 clubs. The previous loan to an unnamed club was seven years ago, in “unique circumstances” and was personally guaranteed by a wealthy fan. Another loan was made to administration-hit Gretna in 2008 and never repaid. The SPFL Articles dictate that payments are linked to final league placings. MacLennan added that “clubs were literally on their knees” and delaying payments could have resulted in “dozens going to the wall”.

Was enough information issued to clubs?

Partick Thistle published legal advice which argued SPFL board members might have been in breach of duty for handing out insufficient information to clubs. MacLennan believes they struck the right balance between giving clubs enough detail and not overloading them with information.

Should board members lobby clubs?

Rangers have accused the SPFL of bullying and coercing clubs. MacLennan said: “You would be amazed at the number of clubs who contacted board members to seek guidance and clarification on the situation prior to the returns being made and that’s entirely appropriate. I see nothing wrong whatsoever with board members seeking to persuade clubs to “adopt” a resolution that the vast majority of board members consider to be in the best interests of the league as a whole.”

Why were the incomplete results published which showed one Championship club had a casting vote?

MacLennan claimed the SPFL would have been accused of “unwarranted secrecy” and caused a “furore” if it had not divulged the results as they stood, adding that there had been “numerous calls” from journalists in the minutes after 5pm on April 10, when clubs were asked to vote by. “We were simply being open and transparent,” he added. MacLennan said silence would have been “untenable” given some clubs’ urgent financial situations and added there was nothing in the SPFL Articles or company law prohibiting this decision.

Why were Dundee allowed to vote again?

Dundee’s initial ‘no’ vote got lost in the email system and they withdrew it when they heard the interim results. MacLennan said: “The legal advice we received was that Dundee FC were entitled to change their mind and accept a second return in favour of the resolution and that the SPFL board should accept that as a valid return.”

Were Dundee offered concessions or persuaded in between their two votes?

Many calls were made between SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and clubs between April 8-15, which was “entirely normal practice” but MacLennan denied giving Dundee “sweeteners”. He added: “The restructuring process that is happening now is precisely the one that the board had committed to in the legal briefing document… sent out to members on April 8.”

Did he have any regrets?

MacLennan claimed the Dundee voting situation was not of the SPFL board’s making. But he admitted they should have given clubs into the following week to vote after issuing the resolution on Wednesday and asking them to vote by 5pm on Friday. He added that waiting the normal 28 days for votes was not possible because the board judged clubs would face a financial crisis and “start to go under”, although clubs were told they could take 28 days. MacLennan also admitted they should have been quicker to express concern and regret to relegated Partick Thistle and Stranraer.

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A phrase I often use in certain circumstances is '...just enough information to confuse' and it clearly applies to how the clubs were treated here. The very fact that MacLennan can say 'not overl

Sorry, but I didn't understand MacLennan's statement because I was only born yesterday!!!!!!!

I have been involved, on a business level, with a membership based organisation. The problem is insolvable because the people on the membership board inevitably make decisions that suit their own firm

51 minutes ago, Cobra said:

Why was ending the season the only way to release payments?

MacLennan described the suggestion to lend clubs money – which was made by Rangers – as “deeply flawed” and a “red herring” and stated company law ensured they could not circulate an “ineffective” resolution to clubs. He declared the board would not have had time to complete due diligence on loans to potentially 42 clubs. The previous loan to an unnamed club was seven years ago, in “unique circumstances” and was personally guaranteed by a wealthy fan. Another loan was made to administration-hit Gretna in 2008 and never repaid. The SPFL Articles dictate that payments are linked to final league placings. MacLennan added that “clubs were literally on their knees” and delaying payments could have resulted in “dozens going to the wall”.

Was enough information issued to clubs?

Partick Thistle published legal advice which argued SPFL board members might have been in breach of duty for handing out insufficient information to clubs. MacLennan believes they struck the right balance between giving clubs enough detail and not overloading them with information.

Should board members lobby clubs?

Rangers have accused the SPFL of bullying and coercing clubs. MacLennan said: “You would be amazed at the number of clubs who contacted board members to seek guidance and clarification on the situation prior to the returns being made and that’s entirely appropriate. I see nothing wrong whatsoever with board members seeking to persuade clubs to “adopt” a resolution that the vast majority of board members consider to be in the best interests of the league as a whole.”

Why were the incomplete results published which showed one Championship club had a casting vote?

MacLennan claimed the SPFL would have been accused of “unwarranted secrecy” and caused a “furore” if it had not divulged the results as they stood, adding that there had been “numerous calls” from journalists in the minutes after 5pm on April 10, when clubs were asked to vote by. “We were simply being open and transparent,” he added. MacLennan said silence would have been “untenable” given some clubs’ urgent financial situations and added there was nothing in the SPFL Articles or company law prohibiting this decision.

Why were Dundee allowed to vote again?

Dundee’s initial ‘no’ vote got lost in the email system and they withdrew it when they heard the interim results. MacLennan said: “The legal advice we received was that Dundee FC were entitled to change their mind and accept a second return in favour of the resolution and that the SPFL board should accept that as a valid return.”

Were Dundee offered concessions or persuaded in between their two votes?

Many calls were made between SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and clubs between April 8-15, which was “entirely normal practice” but MacLennan denied giving Dundee “sweeteners”. He added: “The restructuring process that is happening now is precisely the one that the board had committed to in the legal briefing document… sent out to members on April 8.”

Did he have any regrets?

MacLennan claimed the Dundee voting situation was not of the SPFL board’s making. But he admitted they should have given clubs into the following week to vote after issuing the resolution on Wednesday and asking them to vote by 5pm on Friday. He added that waiting the normal 28 days for votes was not possible because the board judged clubs would face a financial crisis and “start to go under”, although clubs were told they could take 28 days. MacLennan also admitted they should have been quicker to express concern and regret to relegated Partick Thistle and Stranraer.

Hadn't read the statement but the 'not overloading clubs with information' speaks volumes of how they see the clubs. At best they assume the owners are drooling idiots that can't process the info.... at worst, well, make your own mind up.

I did see the interview with Doncaster on the news and he did have a fair point that whatever outcome the 'review' had it wasn't going to please everybody. Saying that by the sounds of it, its a bit of a whitewash.

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1 minute ago, chomp my root said:

Hadn't read the statement but the 'not overloading clubs with information' speaks volumes of how they see the clubs. At best they assume the owners are drooling idiots that can't process the info.... at worst, well, make your own mind up.

I did see the interview with Doncaster on the news and he did have a fair point that whatever outcome the 'review' had it wasn't going to please everybody. Saying that by the sounds of it, its a bit of a whitewash.

A phrase I often use in certain circumstances is '...just enough information to confuse' and it clearly applies to how the clubs were treated here.

The very fact that MacLennan can say 'not overloading clubs with information' and not then see the contradiction of following that up with 'You would be amazed at the number of clubs who contacted board members to seek guidance and clarification on the situation prior to the returns being made' proves the disdain he has for both the clubs and anyone subsequently reading his statement. 

Add in 'I see nothing wrong whatsoever with board members seeking to persuade clubs to “adopt” a resolution that the vast majority of board members consider to be in the best interests of the league as a whole' and to me he is openly admitting that the whole exercise was skewed from the start and only ever intended to end in one certain outcome that they had adopted and wanted. Fair and free vote, my a**e. 

This, to me, instead of putting out the fire, throws oil on the flames. These people really are as stupid as they appear.

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3 minutes ago, barkblue said:

A phrase I often use in certain circumstances is '...just enough information to confuse' and it clearly applies to how the clubs were treated here.

The very fact that MacLennan can say 'not overloading clubs with information' and not then see the contradiction of following that up with 'You would be amazed at the number of clubs who contacted board members to seek guidance and clarification on the situation prior to the returns being made' proves the disdain he has for both the clubs and anyone subsequently reading his statement. 

Add in 'I see nothing wrong whatsoever with board members seeking to persuade clubs to “adopt” a resolution that the vast majority of board members consider to be in the best interests of the league as a whole' and to me he is openly admitting that the whole exercise was skewed from the start and only ever intended to end in one certain outcome that they had adopted and wanted. Fair and free vote, my a**e. 

This, to me, instead of putting out the fire, throws oil on the flames. These people really are as stupid as they appear.

Yup, can't argue and was going to post a more expansive post but just felt a bit "what's the point...". I try and keep an open mind but the way our game is 'managed' does make me despair. While I wish it wasn't Dundee, I'm glad a club challenged the establishment, we'll just need to see what happens. 

I wonder how a lot of fans will feel now that the 'addiction' aspect of football might have been broken for some. I made the leap last year and it was easier than I expected. I expect a lot will be desperate to head back at the first chance (me included) but will that transfer to ST's if there is a delay to the season ? 

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16 minutes ago, chomp my root said:

Yup, can't argue and was going to post a more expansive post but just felt a bit "what's the point...". I try and keep an open mind but the way our game is 'managed' does make me despair. While I wish it wasn't Dundee, I'm glad a club challenged the establishment, we'll just need to see what happens. 

I wonder how a lot of fans will feel now that the 'addiction' aspect of football might have been broken for some. I made the leap last year and it was easier than I expected. I expect a lot will be desperate to head back at the first chance (me included) but will that transfer to ST's if there is a delay to the season ? 

Good point. Are the ST prices still only fixed into next week? I haven't got one yet and it's low on my priorities just now (my partner is in the care industry and doesn't get sick pay if she's off, she's hunky-dory for not but, you know...). If I'm then going to be expected to cough up full prices after 20 years plus of holding a ST then it's going to stick in my throat somewhat.

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Neil Doncaster is speaking out today as well...

“You can always look back and ask whether you would have done anything different, that’s entirely fair.

“But that’s different to being accused of bullying and coercion. If anyone feels they have been bullied they have a duty to bring that to the attention of the chairman, what was said and how it was said and when, rather than vague accusations and calls for us to be suspended without any understanding of what it is we are alleged to have done wrong.

“I think it’s entirely unfair and that’s why I would urge any member clubs who feel they have been bullied by any SPFL staff to bring that to the chairman’s attention rather than have these vague, unsubstantiated accusations out there.

“Certainly nothing that I have done or witnessed going on with any member of my team at all.

“We have been through this a number of times before with various reconstruction votes over the years. Clearly clubs are passionate about their own opinion and it’s entirely natural that the chief executive and board members should lobby for what they believe to be the best interests of the league as a whole. You expect that.

“But if anyone is feeling that what I or any member of SPFL staff has said or done is in any sense bullying then I think they need to say what was said, how it was said or done, and why that was bullying. I think that’s incumbent on anyone making those allegations to do.

“Looking back in retrospect you clearly would have done certain things a bit differently and maybe given clubs a little bit more time (to vote), although it was clear they had the full 28 days if they wished. We should have looked at having a slightly longer suggested deadline.

“And in our press release we should have expressed more sympathy for the plight of Partick Thistle and Stranraer who were relegated by the resolution.

“I understand that and clearly there are things we could have done better but that is absolutely a totally different ball game from suggestions that there’s been bullying or some improper conduct.

“That is in my opinion well wide of the mark and I still can’t understand what the specific allegations are and I have still yet to see any evidence at all about such allegations.”

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3 minutes ago, barkblue said:

Good point. Are the ST prices still only fixed into next week? I haven't got one yet and it's low on my priorities just now (my partner is in the care industry and doesn't get sick pay if she's off, she's hunky-dory for not but, you know...). If I'm then going to be expected to cough up full prices after 20 years plus of holding a ST then it's going to stick in my throat somewhat.

Hope she's well BB, it can't be an easy time for her. I know what you mean about the ST's too, its very much based on your last ST, there's no loyalty from the club, miss a year and that's you pooped, back to full price and for a lot of people now they're a labour of love to start with, they know they're not going to make all the games, especially with the TV companies calling the shots, even in the Championship. Maybe a lot of effort for the club(s) but if fans had an 'account' the clubs might have a better feel for how fans are doing things and possibly give a bit more leeway for long term loyalty. 

I'll be unlikely to be getting a ST for next season based on finance than anything else, we're making a concerted effort to get our finances in order for the imminent recession/depression, getting rid of all debt is the priority. I'll be curious to see what happens with the ST's for this season though, long term I do think some sort of 'account' will be the way ahead, assuming the club can get the ducks to all line up, build in a 'token' scheme so folk can ask for tokens for birthdays etc to put towards things like match tickets/ST's/hospo or even the shop if they could come to an arrangement. Make it more flexible for fans to pay in, 30 quid a month direct debit will kick the ar5e out of your ST, throw in a hundred or two for birthday and christmas and that could be a strip and hospo. 

Unfortunately that's not how we roll. Hey ho, it is what it is.

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This statement just makes it more obvious that something underhand has gone on. Quite a staggering emotive statement considering the SPFL chief exec and chairman’s usual response is “this is a members organisation so nothing to do with us”

Basically all the statement says to clubs is an investigation will cost you money so don’t vote for it. That is coming from the same people who ordered an “investigation” only a few days earlier. When was the consent sought to spend clubs money for that investigation? 

If Rangers have some evidence then they need to release it now before more clubs make their mind up on whether an investigation is necessary. Hopefully they have something and are not just wasting everyones time for the sake of getting their own fans on side. 

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2 hours ago, chomp my root said:

Hope she's well BB, it can't be an easy time for her. I know what you mean about the ST's too, its very much based on your last ST, there's no loyalty from the club, miss a year and that's you pooped, back to full price and for a lot of people now they're a labour of love to start with, they know they're not going to make all the games, especially with the TV companies calling the shots, even in the Championship. Maybe a lot of effort for the club(s) but if fans had an 'account' the clubs might have a better feel for how fans are doing things and possibly give a bit more leeway for long term loyalty. 

I'll be unlikely to be getting a ST for next season based on finance than anything else, we're making a concerted effort to get our finances in order for the imminent recession/depression, getting rid of all debt is the priority. I'll be curious to see what happens with the ST's for this season though, long term I do think some sort of 'account' will be the way ahead, assuming the club can get the ducks to all line up, build in a 'token' scheme so folk can ask for tokens for birthdays etc to put towards things like match tickets/ST's/hospo or even the shop if they could come to an arrangement. Make it more flexible for fans to pay in, 30 quid a month direct debit will kick the ar5e out of your ST, throw in a hundred or two for birthday and christmas and that could be a strip and hospo. 

Unfortunately that's not how we roll. Hey ho, it is what it is.

Cheers mate. Yeah, she's good, although there's no doubt it's taking a toll in different ways. I know the club are over a barrel here. They need some level of income and also a kitty to start next season with, whenever that may happen to be. And yet the way things are right now my ST has fallen lower than ever before on my list of things to do. That's no representation of the club, but the uncertainty over our current/future finances is just something that can't be ignored and the very fact that no one can even hazard a guess at the start date for next season, what the league set up will be, or even how many games the ST will be for (never mind how many I can attend) and there are so many unknowns that it's hard to know exactly what I might or might not be paying for.

My intention is still to buy one but it certainly won't be prior to the May 2nd cut off, whatever that signifies, as the press release didn't state at the time whether that was an early bird scheme or simply the date by which you had to reserve your current seat. Hopefully, while not simple, there will be some clarity of that soon and it will simply be to extend the current situation until further notice. 

Agree with you regarding the need to offer some sorts of other options but I guess it's a tough choice for the club to offer these sort of schemes and discover that maybe 75% of the existing ST holders choose them over the option to pay up front, hence leaving a pre-season budget hole that will somehow need to be filled to build a squad. I really do see both sides on that one and get why the club won't go down these routes - although the pay in three instalments - interest free - isn't all that far away I suppose.

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13 minutes ago, barkblue said:

Cheers mate. Yeah, she's good, although there's no doubt it's taking a toll in different ways. I know the club are over a barrel here. They need some level of income and also a kitty to start next season with, whenever that may happen to be. And yet the way things are right now my ST has fallen lower than ever before on my list of things to do. That's no representation of the club, but the uncertainty over our current/future finances is just something that can't be ignored and the very fact that no one can even hazard a guess at the start date for next season, what the league set up will be, or even how many games the ST will be for (never mind how many I can attend) and there are so many unknowns that it's hard to know exactly what I might or might not be paying for.

My intention is still to buy one but it certainly won't be prior to the May 2nd cut off, whatever that signifies, as the press release didn't state at the time whether that was an early bird scheme or simply the date by which you had to reserve your current seat. Hopefully, while not simple, there will be some clarity of that soon and it will simply be to extend the current situation until further notice. 

Agree with you regarding the need to offer some sorts of other options but I guess it's a tough choice for the club to offer these sort of schemes and discover that maybe 75% of the existing ST holders choose them over the option to pay up front, hence leaving a pre-season budget hole that will somehow need to be filled to build a squad. I really do see both sides on that one and get why the club won't go down these routes - although the pay in three instalments - interest free - isn't all that far away I suppose.

Fair play to you for buying an ST no matter what, a year ago (well slightly over) I'd have been the same, I'd have bought our two. What a difference a year makes...

As for the 'fan account' stuff, it doesn't have to be pay as you go, sorry if I was implying that, it was more along the lines of putting cash and/or 'tokens' into the account to put towards stuff as opposed to on tick. If you have (for example) a couple hundred quid in your 'account' then you don't have to find nearly as much for a ST or you could use it to buy a game ticket etc. It might increase ST sales, dunno, I've no evidence to back that up but a lot of us want to have one even though for most of us it doesn't stack up. Just thinking instead of an Amazon voucher or whatnot you could ask friends and family for a DFC voucher/token that you could use. To rock it 'old skool', you don't have to have an online account, it could be used like an old fashioned book token to keep it simple, although online is easy for most folk.

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1 hour ago, chomp my root said:

Fair play to you for buying an ST no matter what, a year ago (well slightly over) I'd have been the same, I'd have bought our two. What a difference a year makes...

As for the 'fan account' stuff, it doesn't have to be pay as you go, sorry if I was implying that, it was more along the lines of putting cash and/or 'tokens' into the account to put towards stuff as opposed to on tick. If you have (for example) a couple hundred quid in your 'account' then you don't have to find nearly as much for a ST or you could use it to buy a game ticket etc. It might increase ST sales, dunno, I've no evidence to back that up but a lot of us want to have one even though for most of us it doesn't stack up. Just thinking instead of an Amazon voucher or whatnot you could ask friends and family for a DFC voucher/token that you could use. To rock it 'old skool', you don't have to have an online account, it could be used like an old fashioned book token to keep it simple, although online is easy for most folk.

Ah, right, get you now. Yes, actually that would be a great idea and something I think I'd take advantage of. I'd guess it would probably be quite popular with younger fans who are maybe more likely to ask family to chip in (although I do that too, to be fair!).

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Unfortunately, the Spfl are at it, and we appear to have participated in dodgy dealings. We should have stuck to our guns and voted no. Mud always sticks.

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I have been involved, on a business level, with a membership based organisation. The problem is insolvable because the people on the membership board inevitably make decisions that suit their own firm and the CEO of the membership organisation then is tasked with selling the plan to the members. 

For me the SPFL is a perfect example of this type of organisation and now that it includes the clubs from the lower divisions there are so many more opportunities for conflict. How on earth can an organisation that looks after the interests of the OF act for the benefit of Forfar for example.

The business model is flawed and perhaps the top league cutting itself adrift, and a return to the original set up with a change to a 75% voting structure might be better. One up one down was really tough, but when you look at the success rate of the winner of theplayoff structure in the Championship against the second bottom team  in the top league, maybe it's not such a benefit?

I still think it would be worth getting Sky to enter the discussion. What's the point of discussing this at all if Doncaster knows that the Sky deal will be binned if there's any change in the format. Maybe the talk of two year temporary deal is something that Sky are demanding? Maybe getting Sky in the firing line might give them cause to review what they are doing. 

I am afraid that this whole process is just window dressing for the conversations that were held between the SPFL board members and those clubs who asked for more information. I think the word bullying has an emotive connotation given the sensitivity of social media etc, but I am finding hard to find an alternative word to describe being told like it or lump it, this is the only thing we can do, if you don't vote for this plan we will not be able to distribute any money.

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