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Dundee hit with ‘obscene’ 25 point punishment by the SFL

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SFL Chief Executive David Longmuir has hit Dundee with a 25 point deduction, for entering administration. And he slammed Dundee for letting their financial situation get out of hand. He then warned that every club in Scotland could face the same fate IF they spend more than they don’t have.

He said, “It’s been an extremely difficult couple of weeks. Compared to the difficulties at Dundee though, it’s nothing. I feel completely sorry for everyone at the club, but you need to balance that with the task we had. Recent history has given me all the examples I need to know how to handle a situation like this. It’s all about fair play and doing what’s right for the 30 clubs.

“I wanted to send a message to the other members, not so much regarding the sanction but how we run ourselves as a business. I think I’ve done that. Clubs need to start taking stock. They need to stop acting like they are using a credit card. There’s no better feeling than getting out of debt and getting back to a position of strength. This is a wake-up call and a realisation things need to change. As long as clubs get back to basics and live within their means, hopefully I won’t be back here again.”

Dundee, will of course appeal the decision to impose a points deduction and ban them from signing new players, but they have more to worry about with debts totalling around £2 million, and the clock ticking.

It could have been worse for Dundee, had they entered administration in the summer, where they could have been demoted to the Third Division.

Longmuir added, “I am fundamentally sorry for the staff and fans of Dundee FC, who have put their lives into that club. The hardest part of all this is taking the emotion out of it. I put myself in the position of a fan and how I would feel if it happened to my club. I would want as lenient a sanction as possible. But I’m working for an organisation that’s trying to deliver integrity and keep several competitions running at the same time.

“I would love it if every club had no financial problems. That’s not the world we live in though, so all we can do is handle these problems on an individual basis when they crop up. The issue we face in situations like this is risk management. The risks we face can differ depending on the time of year. Different decisions will be made regarding those risks. In the close season the risks are different, so perhaps the decision would have been different.

“I just hope there’s a sense of moderation in terms of the fans’ view of what we’ve done. It’s all about them participating in a league and we’ve given them that platform. I just hope the fans know how we have come to make this decision. There’s an argument to support the role of fairness and justness – and I think that’s exactly what we’ve done today.”

Longmuir continued, “Our duty is to protect the integrity of the league. This is the second time in seven years Dundee have gone into administration. I hope this doesn’t make it harder for Dundee to find fresh investment as no one wants that to happen. We want to see the administrator Bryan Jackson take the club forward and to continue trying to encourage investment in the club. We just feel there is a limit to the risk we can take with regards to the ongoing smooth running of the league. That gives him a clear milestone at which point we will review the situation. We don’t want to just post a sanction and then walk away.”

Despite Longmuir’s hopes that Dundee survive, Dens Park Chief Executive Harry MacLean claims that the punishment imposed on them by the SFL, could kill the club off.

He said, “This decision could kill the club, absolutely. It is an abysmal and atrocious decision, it puts our future in real jeopardy. At this point it looks pretty bleak.”

He added, “Bryan Jackson told the SFL what would happen if the punishment was this severe. They have disregarded every single thing Bryan had to say and put this club at even more risk. Bryan has to be able to look people in the eye and say there’s a chance of survival. If he can’t ask people for money then how can we survive? He said it was 50-50 when he came here and I’d say it’s much, much lower now.”

Dundee are now at the foot of the First Division, sitting on -11 points, and in football terms, such a punishment signals a mission impossible-style operation to stave off relegation.

MacLean continued, “We’re 20 points adrift at the bottom of the league overnight and the SFL have just decided they don’t want us to compete anymore. It’s relegation, whatever way you dress it up. You are basically saying to our punters that the season is over so why bother coming along? It’s a donation now.”

Administrator Jackson has stated that he will appeal the SFL decision.

He said, “I shall appeal this decision by the SFL. This seems a punitive and punishing blow which threatens the future existence of the club. Whilst I appreciate that the SFL had to be seen to act it is questionable whether this punishment is not ultimately self-defeating by threatening the continued existence of the club. We can go on in the short-term but this has made the future much less certain than it has been at any time since administration began.”

Do you back the SFL decision to impose such a points deduction, do you think it has killed Dundee, or will the club still be saved and by whom? We want your views.

Source: The Scottish Sun

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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