Still Game Programme

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Save the Dee!

Earlier this week, along with residents and colleagues who attended the Community Spirit residents’ meeting in the West End Ward, I signed the “Save the Dee!” petition – an excellent initiative by the Evening Telegraph, already signed by 2 300 local people.   The petition points out that the 25 point deduction imposed of Dundee FC by the Scottish Football League is excessive and should be overturned.

You can download the petition for signing at http://tinyurl.com/savethedee

My LibDem colleague Allan Petrie, our parliamentary candidate for Dundee East has written to the Chief Executive of the Scottish Football League, arguing against their punitive action against Dundee Football Club, and calling for Dundee FC to be treated fairly.

Allan said, “Dundee Football Club is fighting for its very existence because of a ruling from the Scottish Football League that would bring more financial hardship on to the club. It seems strange that a disciplinary measure used to punish clubs who are already in financial difficulties could bring more financial hardship upon the club. That does not seem to be in the interests of Scottish football.

“I have therefore written to the Chief Executive of the Scottish Football League, speaking up for Dundee FC.”

Text of Allan’s letter to the SFL :

For the attention of David Longmuir Chief Executive

Dear Mr Longmuir

I write to you as a Dundee United supporter, citizen of the City of Dundee and Liberal Democrat Dundee East Candidate for the Scottish Parliament to ask that you and your colleagues re-examine your decision regarding the disciplining of Dundee Football Club.

Whilst I appreciate the SFL’s concern about any club entering administration, I have to ask if the decision made by the SFL is in the best interest of the club, league or indeed Scottish football as a whole.

As you will be aware, clubs enter administration because of financial difficulties. I therefore suggest that the deduction of points from any club in administration does nothing to aid that club in its financial hardship. It does, in fact, do the opposite by putting the club’s very future in jeopardy.

Under your mission statement it states:

“The Objects of the League shall be to promote and extend the game of Association Football and, without prejudice to the foregoing generality:-

1. to be a governing body for its Member Clubs;

2. to promote, guard and further the interests of its Member Clubs;

3. to provide League Championship and League Cup Competitions for its Member Clubs and

4. to conclude commercial contracts relative to sponsorship and exploitation of the League’s fixture copyrights and intellectual property rights including transmission or recording by television, radio, electronic data transmission, or other means, of fixtures provided by the League.”

This is again stated in your constitution and rules under “2 Objects.” As you see under item 2: “to promote, guard and further the interests of its Member Clubs”. This does not seem to be the case when a punishment handed out by the League can have the knock-on effect of making the financial situation of a member club worse, leading to the possibility of the club closing.

I know that the closure of any football club is something that you and your colleagues would not wish to witness and, therefore, can I suggest a more appropriate punishment by introducing a time limit of clubs being in administration and having a 5 year spending cap on any club as it comes out of administration?

I hope that you and your colleagues will consider the damage of points deduction for teams in financial difficulties can have on the entire Scottish game and give some consideration to the proposals I have suggested.”

Commenting on Allan’s letter, the Secretary of Dundee FC Supporters’ Society said, “Many thanks for your support and efforts.”