SPFL Proposal to Bring 2019/20 to an End

SotonSats

Youth Team Sub
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
224
Team{s}
Southend United
Southampton and Hampshire
AFC Totton
A wee bawbee and a poke o' Coulter's Candy?

Seems about right!
Having googled it I assume you mean a cough sweet for a crying baby rather than the death by brain tumour and buried in a paupers grave in Galashiels as was Coltart??? Chuckles!Roll on Monday
 

prorege

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
694
Team{s}
Fife clubs
Hearts and Partick Thistle have been charged by the SFA for breach of the rules in taking their case to court.

Alleged Party in Breach: Partick Thistle FC
Disciplinary Rule allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 78 - No member or Associated Person shall take a dispute which is referable to arbitration in terms of Article 99 to a court of law except as expressly permitted by the terms of Article 99.
Principal hearing date:
Thursday 6 August 2020

Alleged Party in Breach: Heart of Midlothian DC
Disciplinary Rule allegedly breached:
Disciplinary Rule 78 - No member or Associated Person shall take a dispute which is referable to arbitration in terms of Article 99 to a court of law except as expressly permitted by the terms of Article 99.
Principal hearing date:
Thursday 6 August 2020


The Maximum Penalty for Hearts is a £1 million Fine and or suspension or termination of membership.

For Thistle it is a £500k fine, and / or suspension / termination of membership.
 

paulh66

First Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
1,677
Team{s}
Tranmere, South Liverpool
Inevitable, and this presumably is the final piece of political brinkmanship before the independent arbitration starts?

Although it would be remiss of the SFA not to bring such a charge (and not because SPFL CEO Doncaster is on the SFA board!), Lord Clark's comments about Article 99 at the Court of Session hearing should probably be considered alongside today's announcement.

Specifically, after setting out the various factors behind his opinion, he concluded that "questions may arise as to whether in that context a bar on raising legal proceedings without the permission of the Board of the SFA, subjecting a club which does so to the potentially extreme sanctions mentioned by senior counsel for the SPFL, can be viewed as contrary to public policy and hence unlawful. In the absence of detailed submissions, I cannot reach any concluded view on that matter. It is something which would require to be addressed in a proper legal debate on this issue."

Whichever way the independent arbitration eventually plays out, if the SFA is then minded to go nuclear you can bet such "proper legal debate" will inevitably follow. Whether Scottish football would be willing to push the envelope that far must, by any rational standard, be extremely doubtful.
 

prorege

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
694
Team{s}
Fife clubs
The SFA Judicial Protocol indicates the minimum and maximum punishment for breach of each law, along with indicative sanctions for "less severe" and "more severe" infractions. I expect if this does go the distance then the sanctions applied will not be at the upper end of the scale.

The charges will have been raised by the SFA Compliance Officer, a former Senior Depute Fiscal. If they were, as seems likely, discussed at any point by the Board then those with an interest (i.e. the SPFL Reps) would have withdrawn.

The SFA President Rod Petrie is currently on sick leave. The SFA have appointed Mike Mulraney as Interim President. He's one of the good guys and certainly nobody's puppet.
 

Harry West

Junior Team Star
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
113
Inevitable, and this presumably is the final piece of political brinkmanship before the independent arbitration starts?

Although it would be remiss of the SFA not to bring such a charge (and not because SPFL CEO Doncaster is on the SFA board!), Lord Clark's comments about Article 99 at the Court of Session hearing should probably be considered alongside today's announcement.

Specifically, after setting out the various factors behind his opinion, he concluded that "questions may arise as to whether in that context a bar on raising legal proceedings without the permission of the Board of the SFA, subjecting a club which does so to the potentially extreme sanctions mentioned by senior counsel for the SPFL, can be viewed as contrary to public policy and hence unlawful. In the absence of detailed submissions, I cannot reach any concluded view on that matter. It is something which would require to be addressed in a proper legal debate on this issue."

Whichever way the independent arbitration eventually plays out, if the SFA is then minded to go nuclear you can bet such "proper legal debate" will inevitably follow. Whether Scottish football would be willing to push the envelope that far must, by any rational standard, be extremely doubtful.
This raises the old chestnut of FIFA being above the law as, in my view, this all goes back to that organisations' insistence that it is beyond reproach and must not be challenged in any way in national law courts by any club or organisation under its' control. The EU is on to this and has been for a while. That won't apply here, of course, but this is an issue which has been noted for action.

In other words football is governed by FIFA through its' affiliated nations. It seems to consider itself to be a self-governing empire which is untouchable. We've all seen the shenanghins associated with numerous matters e.g. World Cups etc. Is FIFA fit for purpose? Is any football authority, in this case the SFA, above the laws of the land? Maybe it's about time to stand up to these football organisations if they consider that their rules are above the laws of the land? They are not more important than the law.
 

prorege

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
694
Team{s}
Fife clubs
Which laws of the land have the SFA broken?
 

Ladderman

Youth Team Regular
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
321
Indeed. The basis of the SFA's case is Hearts should have gone through tbeir arbitration/appeal process before going to court.
 

SotonSats

Youth Team Sub
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
224
Team{s}
Southend United
Southampton and Hampshire
AFC Totton
Indeed. The basis of the SFA's case is Hearts should have gone through tbeir arbitration/appeal process before going to court.
So are we saying that now it is going to arbitration it will then go back to court when arb does not go in their favour?
 

Ladderman

Youth Team Regular
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
321
We aren't saying anything
They've broken the rules. But they've also gone to court. I smell a deal
 

prorege

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
694
Team{s}
Fife clubs
So are we saying that now it is going to arbitration it will then go back to court when arb does not go in their favour?
No. Both parties have agreed that the outcome of arbitration is final and will not be appealed.
 

Harry West

Junior Team Star
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
113
Which laws of the land have the SFA broken?
Hi

Thanks for asking this question.

Of course, others may not agree and that's what forums are all about:

Consider parallels with Unlawful Dismissal.

Is it acceptable, under the law, for any employer to threaten legal action of any kind against an employee regarding unlawful dismissal?

In my view it is the threat element that is one issue and to follow up the threat with action is the second issue. As I see it there appear to be strong parallels with the Hearts and Partick Thistle situations.

It is no matter, at all, whether these clubs' actions were justifiable or not.

My view, FWIW, is that these clubs appear to have been subjected to intimidation and bullying and, as such, it will rebound on those responsible. I see that as being inevitable and it is just a question of how and when.

Others may not agree. Fair enough.
 

prorege

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
694
Team{s}
Fife clubs
Sticking to facts rather than opinions:

The SPFL is a members organisation and members sign up to the rules and regulations when they join. The Court of Session has already determined that there is not a problem with the SPFL rules regarding disputes and arbitration process.

Both parties have agreed that they will respect the outcome of the SFA arbitration panel which has been convened - belatedly as a result of Hearts and Partick pursuing the legal route.

The question of sanctions on Hearts and Partick for breaching SFA regulations is a separate issue.

The SFA Judicial Protocols are in the public domain. Each rule (in this case rule 78) has pre-determined indicative sanctions should it be breached, with an 1-4 range of severity according to the nature / seriousness of the breach.


The Court of Session ruling on the SPFL dispute indicated that the most severe sanctions for breach of rule 78 might be worthy of legal debate, should they be imposed. They did not say that rule 78 was invalid.

Now opinion:

The punishments shown for breaches are indicative. The difference between levels 3 and 4 is inappropriately huge. This allows room for the SFA to impose any punishment between those indicated - I suspect the punishment would be a lot less severe than the maximum. That could, for example, be a substantial fine and referring the matter back to the SPFL with a sugegstion of relegation to League Two.

There may well be a compromise as ladderman has suggested. Hearts and Partick take their relegation and a level of compensation well below what they wanted, and the SFA charges are either waived or dealt with as a minor breach with a token fine.
 

Cyclizine

Junior Team Sub
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
34
Team{s}
Wick Academy, Ross County
Hi

Thanks for asking this question.

Of course, others may not agree and that's what forums are all about:

Consider parallels with Unlawful Dismissal.

Is it acceptable, under the law, for any employer to threaten legal action of any kind against an employee regarding unlawful dismissal?

In my view it is the threat element that is one issue and to follow up the threat with action is the second issue. As I see it there appear to be strong parallels with the Hearts and Partick Thistle situations.

It is no matter, at all, whether these clubs' actions were justifiable or not.

My view, FWIW, is that these clubs appear to have been subjected to intimidation and bullying and, as such, it will rebound on those responsible. I see that as being inevitable and it is just a question of how and when.

Others may not agree. Fair enough.
Pish. There is no parallel with employment law, this is a civil issue. Both clubs, as members of the SPFL, signed up to the SPFL's rules, including the arbitration process. They then attempted to circumvent the processes they agreed to by going to court and have been told as expected, they should go through the arbitration process. If anything, it's Hearts and co who are the parties making threats.
 

Swindon Addick

Junior Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
25
Team{s}
Charlton Athletic, Cambridge City
Pish. There is no parallel with employment law, this is a civil issue. Both clubs, as members of the SPFL, signed up to the SPFL's rules, including the arbitration process. They then attempted to circumvent the processes they agreed to by going to court and have been told as expected, they should go through the arbitration process. If anything, it's Hearts and co who are the parties making threats.
Indeed. It's extremely dangerous to draw parallels between employment law and any other form of law. Employment law is weighted deliberately in favour of the employee, recognising the large discrepancy in power between employer and employee. Employees get a surprising degree of protection against signing away their rights via unfair contracts. In any other sort of law, both parties tend to be presumed to have read and understood the rules before signing up, and they don't get any sympathy if the sign up to rules ill-advisedly.
 

buckielugger

Junior Team Star
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
117
Pish. There is no parallel with employment law, this is a civil issue. Both clubs, as members of the SPFL, signed up to the SPFL's rules, including the arbitration process. They then attempted to circumvent the processes they agreed to by going to court and have been told as expected, they should go through the arbitration process. If anything, it's Hearts and co who are the parties making threats.
Except they went to court precisely because rules WERE circumvented by the league, arbitrarily ending the season and relegating clubs who had not in fact been relegated.
Hearts and Partick (and Stranraer) have every right to pursue grievances on this.
 

buckielugger

Junior Team Star
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
117
And further, football nor any sport should be able to place itself above the law of the land.
It has always been ludicrous that FIFA and its member bodies hold such a position.
 

Cyclizine

Junior Team Sub
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
34
Team{s}
Wick Academy, Ross County
And further, football nor any sport should be able to place itself above the law of the land.
It has always been ludicrous that FIFA and its member bodies hold such a position.
It's a members' organisation, mate. If they have regulations that go against the law, then yes, the courts will get involved, but no-one has forced any of the members to join, they all signed up to the regulations and the arbitration process: look how the CoS said to go back to arbitration.

Except they went to court precisely because rules WERE circumvented by the league, arbitrarily ending the season and relegating clubs who had not in fact been relegated.
Hearts and Partick (and Stranraer) have every right to pursue grievances on this.
Erm... Was there not a vote by the clubs on this?
 

paulh66

First Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
1,677
Team{s}
Tranmere, South Liverpool
A vote of the self interested to reward or save themselves at the expense of the minority? That's where the anti competition and unfair prejudice legal arguments kick in.

It'll be interesting to see if, as some have predicted earlier in this thread, the relegated two or three are awarded compensation. And particularly the reasoning behind any such award.

Any news on when arbitration gets underway? The SPFL assured the court there was ample time before the season starts on Aug 1 but the clock's ticking down quite fast now.
 

paulh66

First Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
1,677
Team{s}
Tranmere, South Liverpool
It started Friday!
Ha, so it did! Though the full hearing started today. No definite timeline but not expected to last longer than two weeks, from what I can find. Expensive.
 

Latest posts

Top
AdBlock Detected

Polite request!

NLM relies on advertising to pay the bills to stay online . Could I ask that you disable your AdBlocker for this site. Alternatively if you are a registered user you can remove all ads and get other benefits for as little as £1.50 a month. Just go to your Profile and click on Account Upgrades. Most visitors will see this message only once per visit...... Thanks

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks