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Hmmm  !!!  We shall see.

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3 hours ago, Savagebee said:


Hear-Hear !!

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At least a date to look forward to.

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1 hour ago, Big J R said:

At least a date to look forward to.

I wouldnt be surprised if it didn't happen?


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I'm getting fed up with holding my breath !!

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Hearts: Ann Budge frustrated by SPFL's response to cash and league proposals

Hearts owner Ann Budge says "philanthropists" have approached her offering millions of pounds to help lower-league clubs, but that the SPFL's response was "not decisive enough".

And Budge admits her draft league reconstruction paper is doomed to fail.

On outside investment, Budge says the SPFL asked her to "put a paper in and they will discuss it next week".

Chief executive Neil Doncaster says he believed Budge's talks with potential investors were ongoing.

Doncaster added: "But if it is now appropriate for me to talk to them directly, I am very happy to do so.

"I have had a number of conversations with Ann this week, including one that also involved another club chairman. Clearly, any income for our game, especially at such a difficult time, is something we would all welcome.

"I am delighted to have heard Ann's comments on the radio this afternoon that there are, in fact, no conditions attached to this money.

"I will be speaking again to Ann over the weekend and hope to be in a position to update our divisional meetings this week."

Budge, speaking to BBC Scotland Sportsound, described the offer of help for Scotland's lower-league clubs as "an amazing philanthropic gesture", believed to be worth millions of pounds with no conditions.

The businesswoman continued: "They know me because of Hearts. What they're saying is, 'We would like to help Scottish football', and I can't even get that moving.

"It's not quick enough, it's not decisive enough. I'm offering them money! Not my money. I don't think it should be for me to say, 'Here's a pot of money, this is how I think it should be spent'."

As things stand, Hearts will be playing in the Championship next season, having been relegated in bottom spot when the Premiership was called with eight games remaining.

"The inherent unfairness of it is why I'm still talking about it," said Budge, who reiterated that legal action is her least favoured option to address what she sees as the Tynecastle club being wronged by their relegation.

She accepts the reconstruction proposal - which five lower-league clubs have confirmed they do not support - will not go through because "a number of clubs won't be able to play next season".

"I put forward a paper which I want to be viewed as a discussion document," Budge added.

"I'm not precious at all about 14-14-14. What I want to progress is the discussions. I feel like we have been treading water for weeks and nothing is happening."

Responding to claims by the likes of Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor that her proposal is fuelled by self-interest, Budge said: "If it hadn't been Hearts there, no, I might not have been fighting so hard but I can assure you I would have been voting for change.

"If I go right back to 15 March, I wrote to the SPFL and said we need to look at this so that clubs don't suffer. What I got back was a letter that basically said, 'Yes, if you would like to do the work and tell us what articles need changed, we'll look at it'.

"That is not what I expect from the governing body. I expect them to take more leadership.

"I should not be the one who's trying to come up with some solution. I and many others can see a tsunami coming towards us. Certain clubs cannot play behind closed doors. Other clubs don't want to for business reasons.

"Everybody knows we have to make a change. Let's make a change proactively rather than waiting for clubs getting into difficulty. It's a nonsense."

Budge says that manager Daniel Stendel now "technically does not have a contract," but stopped short of confirming the German will leave the club.

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Hearts' SPFL reconstruction bid fails as Ann Budge begins to face up to Championship future

Hearts will spend next season in the Championship after their attempt to organise a structural change to the leagues failed.

The Gorgie club needed the backing of at least 11 of the 12 Premiership clubs AND over 75 per cent of the 42 clubs in the SPFL but this high threshold of support was not met.

Only 16 of the 42 clubs proved to be in favour of the plans, a meagre 38 per cent.

The proposal of 14-10-10-10 would have meant the clubs relegated by the Good Friday disagreement vote were saved while Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers would have joined the senior ranks.

It would have created a Premiership split after two games with a top six and bottom eight - a situation some clubs felt would create a two-tier league.

There were also concerns fans might be reluctant to purchase season tickets when only aware of half the fixtures.

SPFL cheif exec Neil Doncaster said: “In recent weeks, we’ve been consulting closely with our clubs regarding possible reconstruction and, based on the feedback we received, the board decided to ask all 42 clubs to give their views so that we could have absolute clarity, which we’ve achieved today.

“Whilst a number of clubs were in favour of a new divisional set-up, the support for it was insufficient and we will now move forward with a fixture programme for season 2020/21 based on the current 12-10-10-10 structure.

“Due to the restrictions forced upon us by the coronavirus outbreak, the Championship clubs also voted overwhelmingly to play each other three times next season, rather than four, which enables a later start to the Championship league season.

“Now that we have a confirmed structure for next season, the SPFL’s fixturing team will begin work on the Premiership fixture list, which will start on the weekend of 1 August, and the Championship fixture list, which will start on the weekend of 17 October.”

The Jambos now have to accept their lot in a reduced 27-game Championship next season or move to take legal action.

Budge will feel there are strong precedents for success coming from Europe as the French and Belgian leagues are currently in turmoil after clubs used legal challenges to force their governing bodies into relegation U-turns.

The French National Court blocked the demotion of Amiens and Toulouse with top flight clubs still having 10 matches left to play.

That opens the doors to an expanded 22-team top flight and the French State Council has indicated the league should be adjusted in size.

In Belgium, the relegation of Waasland-Beveren was also declared to be illegal under competition law.

However, the difference between Scotland the two cases on the Continent was the SPFL took their decision to a vote, while the executives unilaterally ruled in France and Belgium.

Former Hearts chairman Leslie Deans also believes that the Tynecastle club could ask the Scottish courts to ring fence £8m of club's money "to cover damages and costs".

In an open letter to clubs, Deans wrote: "We've now reached D-Day for Scottish football.

"Will our clubs elect for a new dawn and reconstruction to 14-10-10-10 where no club suffers major harm and damage or do they reject the opportunity before them?

"And if more than 21 of our 42 clubs give the SPFL Board's proposal a positive response, will the board use the executive powers it possesses to impose reconstruction? Doncaster said on Sky TV as recently as last Friday that the board could not go against the will of the majority of the clubs. An imposed reconstruction would prove he spoke with honesty and integrity.

" Partick Thistle's excellent statement on June 13 calls for clubs to come together and cause no lasting harm. The alternative is the litigation which Hearts, and perhaps others, will have to pursue. I believe the already strong case is strengthened by the restraint of trade principle and recent decisions in France and Belgium.

"The SPFL board should consider the damage this litigation could cause.

"Firstly, as someone who's been in the legal profession for 45 years, I can assure them it could be months or years before any case is finally settled. The legal process can be slow and the courts are, like us all, affected by the lockdown.

"Secondly, Hearts could seek interdict to prevent the league starting. Whilst there's no guarantee the court would grant this, if they did, would the Sky TV deal be adversely affected? How would clubs entering European competitions be affected? No competitive matches before European games? Would UEFA suspend the participation of Scottish clubs until the proceedings were completed?

"And if Hearts ask the court to ring fence £8 million to cover potential damages and costs, how would a club who voted yes feel when their payment from SPFL was drastically reduced?"

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I can see this occuring elsewhere for clubs who can afford the 'Leagle Eagles' !!

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Wigan Athletic have gone into administration, becoming the first English professional club to do so since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The Latics have been struggling to manage their finances and say there was no alternative if they were to safeguard the club.

The move may see the Championship side deducted points.

Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators.

The standard points deduction for an English Football League club entering administration is 12 points and, should that penalty be applied this season, it would drop them to the foot of the table, four points from safety with six matches left to play.

Stanley said: "We understand that everybody connected with the club and the wider football world is seeking clarity on the future of Wigan Athletic.

"That's exactly what we are seeking to provide as we move through this process and we seek out interested parties to rescue this famous old club here in the region.

"It is a fast-moving situation and we will provide updates on key developments."

Krasner, a former chairman of Leeds United, added: "Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures this season and to urgently find interested parties to save Wigan Athletic FC and the jobs of the people who work for the club.

"Obviously the suspension of the Championship season due to Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the recent fortunes of the club.

"Wigan Athletic has been a focal point and source of pride for the town since 1932 and anyone who is interested in buying this historic sporting institution should contact the joint administrators directly."

Until 2018, Wigan was owned by Dave Whelan, who steered the club from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League in 2005, while they also won the FA Cup in 2013.

Whelan sold the club to Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation in November 2018 and there was a further change of ownership in June when Next Leader Fund took control.

Wigan have won all three of their league games since the resumption of the Championship season on 20 June.

Paul Cook's side beat Stoke 3-0 at the DW Stadium on Tuesday and are 14th in the table, eight points above the relegation zone before any potential deduction is applied.

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Hopefully not a sign of times ahead after COVID19.

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