Gary Mackay: Hearts owner Ann Budge should not need to do the SPFL's job for them

Ann Budge introduced philanthropist James Anderson to the SPFL.Ann Budge introduced philanthropist James Anderson to the SPFL.
Ann Budge introduced philanthropist James Anderson to the SPFL.
Lack of leadership at the top has left too many scrambling

It should not be left to Ann Budge at Hearts or Stewart Robertson at Rangers to do the work of the SPFL hierarchy. They should not need to devise league reconstruction models or find philanthropists to financially support our league during a crisis.

That is the job of the SPFL chief executive and the board. Yet in recent weeks the absence of leadership has left certain individuals to pick up the pieces. In a sense, they have been doing other people’s jobs for them.

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Hearts, of course, have a vested interest in league reconstruction and there is no denying that because they want to stay in the Premiership. There is still some slim hope that this could happen, but the latest reconstruction plan means we are probably in the last-chance saloon.

When you continue to get dragged along in hope, then the final bit of hope gets scuppered, then what are the options?

There have been precedents set for legal action by clubs in other countries but it's important to remember that they are exactly that – different countries. Whatever happens here will be related to the Scottish legal system and the wording of it.

I really do sympathise with the supporters. We are repeating ourselves here but that's what everybody in the country is doing right now.

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We are all talking about different numbers we could put in this league and that league, and there are proposals coming right, left and centre. It's difficult to keep track and it gets tiresome. I think that is the stage a lot of people have reached now.

It begs of really, really poor leadership on behalf of the SPFL. If there is ever going to be a swell of people calling for change at the top of Scottish football, then I think it would be now.

In the past we had Jim Farry and Ernie Walker running the game in this country and they were labelled as dictators. They weren't. All they did was make decisions.

There was clear leadership back in the 1980s and 1990s. Not everybody agreed with those two guys but they made decisions. We need to do something to change the present status quo, that's for sure.

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The difficulty is enforcing it, but somewhere along the line we need to get more for our pound from the people at the very top of the game in this country.

The SPFL being run as a members' organisation certainly doesn't help. Because this crisis has hit us like a bolt from the blue, clubs need to realise that self-preservation isn't the way to let the game prosper.

Look at James Anderson. He has come in and assessed the whole of the Scottish football community and what it means to people across the country. And he has agreed to put his money in because he wants to help every single club.

Maybe we need somebody at the top with that wide-ranging view. Whoever it is, they must have the wellbeing of Scottish football in mind rather than the wellbeing of their own individual clubs. That’s where the members’ organisation doesn't work.

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Our national team haven't qualified for a major tournament for years so we don't have added finance coming in through that avenue.

People rave about the television deals we set for a small country, plus the money clubs bring into their own communities. Surely this will wise up the SFA and SPFL so that they realise they need to be a wee bit more supportive.

We now have a philanthropist coming in looking at all clubs as individual assets in their local communities, and to Scottish football in general. His help is greatly appreciated by everybody, no doubt about that, but it should never have got to this point in the first place.

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