Ann Budge stands by her views in row with SPFL

Ann Budge has questioned the role of SPFL working groups
Ann Budge has questioned the role of SPFL working groups
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ANN BUDGE has moved to clarify her position on her disagreement with the SPFL over the way they handled the announcement of the League Cup revamp earlier this week.

Hearts’ owner was irked at what she felt was a lack of adequate communication from the governing body when they publicly announced radical new plans for the competition on Monday night just hours after clubs were informed.

The SPFL later claimed that all clubs had been part of various relevant discussions over the previous year. However, while Budge acknowledged that Hearts were involved in most of these meetings, she insisted today that there should have been more in-depth consultation on the final proposals for the new-look competition.

Budge, whose club were not part of the working group and don’t have representation on the SPFL board, took issue with claims by the league that “all 42 clubs were again fully consulted on the considerations and recommendations of the working group...” and “all clubs were given a detailed update on intentions for the Scottish League Cup”. She felt other clubs were similarly irked with the process.

As part of a lengthy statement on Hearts’ website, she said: “The key factors underlying this difference of opinion centre around two questions. Firstly, what is the purpose of setting up working groups if their findings and recommendations are not to be shared with all member clubs? Secondly, to what extent is it the responsibility of league representatives on the SPFL board to keep the member clubs they represent fully briefed on key discussions/decisions; and indeed, to what extent should they consult the member clubs before casting a vote, ostensibly on their behalf?

“I would emphasise that I am not alone in expressing surprise and disappointment that no final discussion/briefing on this matter took place with those member clubs, who were not involved in the working group and do not have seats on the SPFL board. There was widespread expectation that such a meeting would take place before any public announcement.

“We have been contacted by a number of other clubs, over the past 48 hours, who have expressed the view that they share our dissatisfaction with the process. They absolutely expected a meeting to enable full understanding of the implications of the proposed format, prior to any announcement being made.”