As Scottish football continues to wait and see what happens with Hearts and Thistle’s ridiculous decision to go through the courts, the media watches with baited breath for the results of those cases in other countries where clubs have attempted to do the same.
UEFA will press the national associations to harshly punish those clubs. That’s a given. The SFA has already written to both, “asking for an explanation” and making it clear that serious sanctions are on their way. Both clubs will be reeling by the time this is done.
In the meantime, the leagues who have been through this are defending their position robustly. In two countries cases have been at least partially resolved; in neither is the news good for Hearts or Thistle … or Sevco, who are waiting to see what’s what.
In France, the league lost a battle against clubs who were similarly relegated. Hearts might have taken solace from this but the French football federation has simply ignored the legal finding, and the courts are powerless to impose a penalty on them because, like with football elsewhere, the league bodies are private companies and the courts can’t tell them what should and shouldn’t go in their regulations. The league board made the decision and that’s that.
Football will just not bow to domestic legal pressure … it’s that simple, and UEFA will not let clubs use domestic courts to subvert their associations even if the leagues were willing to.
The situation in Holland, which The Record was clinging to yesterday and which the Sevco fan forums thought was great news, is even less good for the governing bodies.
The Dutch league decided to cancel promotion and relegation, which is what Hearts want.
The clubs who were not sent up are the ones who sued. The league knows they have a case; they violated their own charter to deny these guys a chance to go up. And whilst the league didn’t reverse their decision, they’ve agreed to pay compensation to the clubs affected.
In France, the clubs had no say in the decision; the French Football Federation board voted through the decision without consulting them. In Holland they didn’t follow the rulebook. Yet in neither case has the league reversed the decision, and it’s the clubs who weren’t promoted who have been found to have a case in Holland.
Dundee Utd have already met with the other affected clubs to decide on their own next step.
Any attempt to deny them promotion will be a violation of the league’s own bylaws and statutes; it will go nowhere.
Sevco fans think this could destroy Scottish football; in truth, it stands a very good chance of destroying only two clubs, the ones who have taken this to court. There is no good news for either of them in these developments.
Even if they win in court, the SFA will not reinstate them in their respective leagues for fear of even greater consequences.
To prove losses in the realm that both clubs are alleging will be even more difficult than trying to reverse relegation.
The sums they are asking for are absolutely outrageous, and both clubs would have to demonstrate that those losses accurately reflected reality … both figures would, of course, depend on football performances, and they have been dire, so go figure.
Hearts particular figure of £8 million is laughable.
Both clubs are in a lot of trouble, with no positive outcome. And Sevco’s dream, that we may yet have the ninth title snatched from us, this time by the courts, is going nowhere either. When the dust settles on this both Hearts and Thistle will be down. Dundee Utd will be promoted.
The courts will not have overturned a football decision … and Celtic will be champions still.
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