Hearts and Thistle have been given Notices Of Complaint tonight by the SFA.
They have told the media that they are “incredulous.” What a stupid statement to make.
If they really are incredulous then those running those clubs are stupider than we thought.
This was inevitable from the word go. Everyone in the blogosphere knew this was going to happen and we said so repeatedly. We are not just the luckiest people on Earth; we knew it because the rules on it are pretty straightforward. The SFA has no choice.
Apart from how ridiculous they would look if they allowed clubs to challenge football decisions outside of the sport, the mandate on this comes from FIFA and UEFA. Football tolerates no interference from outside, and the European and world governing bodies have made this clear over and over again.
Had the SFA not taken action against the clubs UEFA would have taken action against them.
They are not allowed to simply ignore this sort of behaviour.
The media reaction will be interesting.
Some of them are clearly going to ignore the fact that UEFA has forced associations to sanction clubs before and pursue the line that this is a vindictive move. They will also claim that this prejudices the case the clubs are putting before the independent panel.
One thing has nothing to do with the other though.
Every club knows these rules exist. Every club knows the potential cost of taking football issues to the civilian courts. The SFA charter, which every club signs up to, spells it out. Budge and her counterparts at Thistle were all too aware of the consequences … for them to claim to be surprised that they will have to pay those consequences is frankly unbelievable.
What a mess these clubs have made, and although neither will lose their licenses on the back of this the punishment cannot be a slap on the wrist.
Both should be sanctioned in a manner that is harsh enough to send a message; a one year ban from the Scottish Cup would be an appropriate punishment for threatening the sport as they have.
The SFA has done the right thing here.
They should now make it clear that Sevco will pay its own price for the baseless allegations they spent months throwing around.
If the SPFL will not sanction Stewart Robertson the SFA should examine his conduct, and see if they believe someone who leaked inside info to the press in pursuit of a vendetta is still a fit and proper person to be involved in the national game.
The conduct, over the summer, of some of the people at these clubs has been scandalous.
The rent has finally come due for some of them.
The rest must follow.
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