Partick Thistle won't follow Hearts with court action but claim SPFL 'not fit for purpose'

The Jags have been consigned to League One after league reconstruction rejected

Partick Thistle won't seek legal action. Picture: SNS
Partick Thistle won't seek legal action. Picture: SNS

Partick Thistle have confirmed they won’t seek court action after it was announced that league reconstruction had not gained sufficient support within the SPFL.

Only 16 of the 42 member clubs indicated they would be in favour of a switch to a 14-10-10-10 structure.

It means the Jags have been consigned to League One with Hearts in the Championship and Stranraer in League Two.

The Tynecastle club were swift in their response, confirming they will be taking legal action.

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After much thought, Thistle have opted against such a route.

A statement read: “Partick Thistle is neither shocked nor surprised by today’s announcement. It has been clear for some time that we were to be sacrificed for the alleged greater good of the Scottish game, but it is still sickening now that it has been confirmed.

“In recent weeks, we have gone over the limited options open to us in this situation. Court action is our preferred route. However, the reality is that the cost to do so is prohibitive for us and it comes with no guarantee of success. To raise an action would cost the club a six-figure sum, indeed it would mean effectively using the incredible six-figure sum raised by our fans to support the club through this difficult period. That is the equivalent of monies to bring three or four new players to the club to get us back on track next season. That has to be our priority and what we believe a majority of our fans want to – building the strongest possible squad to win matches when football returns. Therefore, the Board will not pursue legal action at this time but reserves the right to do so should circumstances change.”

‘We cannot be stopped from playing’

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While noting that some fans may be against their decision, the club feel they “can’t risk monies in this way if we are serious about getting back to the Championship at the first opportunity”.

Focus has now switched to the 2020/21 campaign, and Thistle have demanded they be given a start day by the SPFL, confirming they are ready to play.

“We are entitled to feel rage about this injustice,” the statement said, “but we should channel that anger and use that money to deliver our own justice in the form of a club whose only stated intention is promotion next season.

“That’s where our focus must now lie, beginning with a demand for a start date for the new season from the SPFL. We cannot be stopped from playing and clubs in our league have indicated they are able to play. League One MUST start in a similar timescale to the Championship. The SPFL has no reason to further harm our club by delaying the announcement of our fixtures when announcing other leagues.

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“As a member of the SPFL, we feel badly let down especially by its Board and Chairman. In allowing harm to be done to some members, as they have done, can the SPFL really still be regarded as a membership organisation that works in the best interests of all its members, one that genuinely acts on behalf of the membership as a whole? In all of its actions of recent months, the SPFL has shown it is not fit for purpose. That must be addressed, claiming to only do what members tell them is an assertion that has now worn thin.

“Finally, what has also been made clear today is that, despite this being the worst of times, a majority of Scottish football wasn’t prepared to stand by its own. There are a number of honourable exceptions, who know who they are – to all of you we say thank you, we will not forget.”