SPFL chairman wants top-flight clubs to help bail out lower leagues

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Stenhousemuir chairman Iain McMenemy has urged Scotland’s top clubs to follow the Bundesliga’s lead by forgoing 10 per cent of their prize money to save teams from extinction.

Rangers’ Europa League rivals Bayer Leverkusen last week joined forces with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig to contribute to a £18.3 million solidarity fund for the top two leagues in Germany.

And with Scottish clubs facing a financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, McMenemy believes a similar act of benevolence from the Premiership could protect the 30 lower league sides.

League Two part-timers Stenhousemuir have so far received just over £9,000 from the Scottish FA and SPFL since football was suspended on March 13. 

McMenemy: “My real issue has been the money that has been offered around Scottish football. 

“It’s been talked about that there was £4.5 million put in by the Scottish football authorities, that’s £1.5 million from the Scottish FA and £3 million distributed from the SPFL. 

“That money has gone out through the normal distribution funds channel. 

“Clubs like Stenhousemuir, out of that £4.5 million we got just over £9,000 of that, that’s all.

“The top three (Premiership) clubs get £395,000 (from the SPFL) and we got £1,350.

“We’re sitting in the conference calls when they’re talking about this investment into Scottish football, incredibly frustrated that that’s the kind of money. 

“I know that’s what we all have.

“The point I’m trying to make to them is that this is the most extraordinary of circumstances and we can’t get through it with very ordinary actions. 

“We’ve got to treat to this differently, it can’t be business as usual in terms of payments.”

McMenemy, whose own club have earned plaudits for their community efforts to help vulnerable people during the lock down, added: “The Premiership alone talks 83 per cent alone of all money in Scottish football, 83 per cent.

‘If they even said we’d take 73 per cent, which is still a big chunk, they could save just about every other club in Scotland. You could save 20 or 30 other clubs just with that ten per cent.

“I get the point that everybody is suffering and every pound potentially is a prisoner but other countries have done it, Germany have done it – they have come together and are trying to make sure they’re there for each other. 

“Everybody is pulling together in society but Scottish football is just still plodding forward looking after our own self-interest and it’s different circumstances right now.

“Scottish football must come together to be here to support each to make sure all 42 clubs are still here when we’re ready to kick a ball again.”

Doncaster

McMenemy, meanwhile, has also called for greater leadership at the top of the Scottish game, particularly from SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

Speaking to BBC Sportsound, he added: “We just need to have leadership now, we need leaders to lead us out of this, make some decisions.

“I get what’s going on behind the scenes in terms of negotiations with the broadcasters but we’re going to have to take our hit here, we’re all going to have to suffer and be in a worse position; players are going to have to take some sort of wage cuts, clubs are going to lose money hand over first and sponsors have to come to the conclusion that they’re not going to get their whole package delivered this season.

“If we can make sure we’re all in it together and we can have some sort of leadership then I think we can start to plot a way out of it.

“I’m trying to do my bit from our perspective with our own community and fan base by telling them what’s going on.

“I think there should be something coming out on a more regular basis from the league authorities as well.”

 
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