Dundee fans are furious at today’s attempted murder of our football club by the Scottish Football League.
The SFL’s own mission statement requires them to promote, guard and further the interests of their member clubs, but the decision to almost guarantee Dundee’s relegation, putting the club’s existence at risk, is absolutely unbelievable.
The SFL disciplined Dundee in 2006 for fielding an under-strength side in contravention of League rules. Today's decision was presumably made in the full knowledge that it may well force Dundee to field an under-strength side for the rest of the season, so are the SFL not damaging the integrity of their own league, in contravention of their own rules and the first line of their own press statement today?
Dundee take more fans away from home than many SPL clubs - and we estimate today's decision is equivalent to fining the other division one clubs a combined total of around £200,000 in lost revenue for the rest of this season. After all, a lot of Dundee fans are unlikely to travel away from home after this.
At least half the committee which made this decision are directors of clubs who have a vested interest in the relegation of the best supported football club outside the SPL, and they were presided over by a man who has witnessed up close the demise of both Airdrieonans and Clydebank. And yet they have the gall to talk about lessons not being learned. If they want to level that criticism, why is it that they only now talk of implementing an early warning system? And why do they address borrowing from HMRC, but not borrowing from banks or directors? After all it was reliance on a director’s money which got Dundee into this situation, but since many clubs in the first division are similarly dependent, the SFL shy away from addressing this fundamental issue, and are trying to make a scapegoat of our club.
One of the SFL’s justifications for not having a fixed 10 point penalty is that in other leagues this could equate to a significant financial penalty due to the bonuses paid for league places - in other words, they attract such paltry commercial income for their members that this would have little effect...one of the main reasons clubs relegated from the SPL struggle!
Rather than “guarding the interests of their member clubs” and “protecting the integrity of the league” as required by their own rules, the SFL seem to have made a conscious decision to attempt to kill off Dundee, which will have damaging consequences for many of their member clubs.
While Stirling Albion and Falkirk have bent over backwards to help us, realising that Scottish football is one big family which must stick together in times of trouble, the SFL have stabbed us in the back. Over 2000 Dundee fans have travelled to away games in the last fortnight, but the feedback we’re getting is that most fans would prefer to stay at home and put the cash they would save each week into the survival fund. We will all pull together and fight this decision, fight this situation, and fight to keep our club alive. We need every Dundee fan to turn out this Saturday and every Saturday at Dens, putting money in buckets, taking out memberships and participating in fundraising, to give us a chance to save the club.