SPL CEO Neil Doncaster Refuses To Take Fall For Vote Failure On Restructuring
Scottish Premier League CEO Neil Doncaster "has defended his role in the failure of the 12 SPL clubs to agree to restructuring plans," according to the BBC. He said, "No chief executive is in a position to drive through change against the views of his clubs." Meanwhile, Scotland's former First Minister Henry McLeish, whose reports into Scottish football called for major change, "insists the plans are not dead." He added: "It was a setback yesterday. I don't think it's the death knell for the deal." Doncaster disagreed with the suggestion that "he was at fault for not securing the passage of the plans." He said, "It's not the case that I drive the clubs; it is the other way round" (BBC, 4/16).
ROSS COUNTY DECISION: In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported SPL Ross County Chair Roy MacGregor Monday night "told how he had no option but to sink the SPL’s plans for reconstruction." MacGregor joked that "he had to be driven out of Glasgow in the boot of a car." However, he was "deadly serious when laying out his reasons for voting 'no' -- and adamant that the other 10 clubs should have done exactly as he did, by listening to the wishes of fans up and down the country." Rival chairmen "were furious" about Monday's collapse. And MacGregor believed that "much of that anger is down to the fact clubs experiencing financial hardship" are now set to lose out on a share of almost £2M ($3.1M) in sponsorship. He said: "It’s going to be difficult to get a sponsor without having one league. As it stands they get around £2M from the Clydesdale Bank so, yes, there is a financial hit for the clubs. I understand that" (DAILY RECORD, 4/16).
MORE DEFENSE: In Edinburgh, Stephen Halliday reported SPL St. Mirren Chair Stewart Gilmour has defended his decision, insisting it was "the right thing to do." Gilmour, in particular, "was the target of criticism by furious" Aberdeen Chair Stewart Milne "after failure to secure the required backing for reform at the summit at Hampden." He said: "I still want to see elements of the reconstruction proposals -- like a single league body -- implemented. But not at any cost." Doncaster said his organization has no "Plan B" in place after the proposals were torpedoed (SCOTSMAN, 4/16).
PLAN B EMERGES: In London, Phil Gordon wrote in the aftermath of the SPL vote, second tier clubs "began to make their escape plans from the Scottish Football League." Hamilton Academical has asked other Irn-Bru First Division clubs to meet on Monday to discuss "the creation of a potential “SPL2.” The middle-ranking clubs are "most affected" by the collapse of the proposed reconstruction. Hamilton is trying to "generate support among the other full-time professional clubs in that division." Livingston, Falkirk and Raith Rovers are "also believed to back an SPL2" (LONDON TIMES, 4/17).