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DOWN AND OUT: TROUBLED DUO IN DOCK

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HEARTS and Partick Thistle have been sensationally charged by the SFA for taking court action in their bid to avoid relegation.

Both clubs launched legal moves following the SPFL’s decision to demote them from the Premiership and Championship respectively after the football bosses acknowledged it would be unsafe to continue the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stranraer also dropped into the fourth tier while Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were promoted.

A bid for league reconstruction also failed and the case will go to an arbitration panel convened by the Scottish FA.

The Hampden hierarchy, as Sky Sports News reported, has now issued a notice of complaint to both clubs for allegedly breaching disciplinary rule 78 – “No member or Associated Person shall take a dispute which is referable to arbitration in terms of Article 99 to a court of law except as expressly permitted by the terms of Article 99.”

A joint statement from the Edinburgh and Glasgow teams said: “We are incredulous to have received a Notice of Complaint from the SFA in the circumstances.

“It is oppressive of them to require submissions from both clubs by 20 July when we are, in terms of their own articles of association, actively engaged in arbitration.

“As our focus must be squarely on that, we have already requested the SFA to review the timing to allow us to be properly prepared and represented.

“That is the very least we should expect from the process.”

The principal hearing is set for Thursday, August 6.

In extreme measures, Hearts and Partick Thistle could be kicked out of Scottish football.

Complicating matters even further, the Tynecastle side are also due to play city rivals Hibs in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup which has been held over from last term.

Holders Celtic will face Aberdeen in the other last-four fixture.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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