Can Stranraer benefit from Thistle’s mystery legal backer?
The last 24 hours in the funfair world of Scottish football has again brought more questions than answers and it now appears we are moving from the board room to the court room.
Just after midday on Monday the SPFL rejected the latest reconstruction plans put forward with only 16 of the 42 clubs backing plans for 14-10-10-10 which means the leagues will remain as they are – with Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer being relegated to the leagues below.
Time for the lawyers
However, a day after publicly stating in another one of their strongly worded statements that they didn’t have enough money to pursue legal action over the decision, Thistle today announced that they had ‘received a proposal to fully fund legal action’ and will now join forces with Hearts in battling the league and the 26 clubs who ‘put themselves first’.
Stranraer, entering their 150th year as a club and who probably have the weakest reason to gripe (having been eight points behind Forfar with a game in hand) have admitted that they don’t have the funds to chase any legal case. Chairman Iain Dougan spoke today revealing they don’t have a single player on their books at the moment.
But surely, with this mystery party approaching ‘The Jags’ to fully fund their legal action – with no cost to the club – surely despite the lack of funds, Stranraer can only benefit.
Let’s put it this way, lets fast forward in time and go to the conclusion of whatever legal battle is about to take place. Let’s say Hearts and Partick win their case, and there is no relegation from last season due to the global Cornavirus Pandemic. Is it not a consequence of this decision that the courts can’t go “yous two are fine but that Stranraer lot, nah they didn’t come to the table so their relegation sticks!”
As a result of not having the financial means to talk to their lawyers, Stranraer can sit back and watch how this plays out safe in the knowledge that if their two fellow protagonists in this saga are successful in their quest, that any decision made will encompass them as well.
We’ve still a long way to go. The events of the last day don’t even come as a surprise anymore. In fact, these developments haven’t even been the biggest shock since the leagues stopped trading.
The Premiership has a start date of 1st August. The Championship the 17th October (with teams only playing each other three times). League 1 and League 2 don’t even know if they’ll start next season in this calendar year. With todays news of legal battles to come, who knows what’s next on the horizon?
One thing is for sure, if there isn’t an out of court settlement the leagues cannot start.
But the uncertainty, the rollercoaster ride we are taken on as spectators and punters, this is why we continue to love the unique world that is Scottish football. Come to think of it, it’s exactly why I love the funfair too!