Raith Rovers confirm they voted against reconstruction as Hearts, Partick Thistle & Stranraer face up to drop

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CHAIRMAN Bill Clark has confirmed that Raith Rovers voted against league reconstruction as he compared the uncertainty which has ravaged Scottish football to riding a ghost train.

Just 16 of the SPFL’s 42 member clubs backed the proposed 14-10-10-10 revamp in Monday’s indicative ballot, condemning Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer to the drop, and robbing Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts of a crack at League Two.

The Jambos, who are now facing up to life in the Championship alongside newly-promoted Rovers, have subsequently launched legal action and hope to pocket an eye-watering £6 million in compensation.

Ghost train: Clark is adamant the time was not right to implement reconstruction

Despite the risk of the SPFL being liable for a massive payout, Clark remains steadfast that now was NOT the right time to consider a shake-up to the structure given clubs are still coping with the ramifications of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Our view is that this is not the right time to do reconstruction,” said the Stark’s Park chief. “There is so much confusion around, and there have been so many different models proposed. Every club seems to have different views.

“This last few months have been a wee bit like being on the ghost train at the Links Market – you’re in the dark then suddenly things spring at you from the left side and the right side!

“You’ve got to juggle things and consider the options, and the board at Raith has done that at every meeting we have had.

“And this week we came to the conclusion that this really isn’t the right time to look at this.”

While the failure of reconstruction efforts hogged the headlines, a proposed start date for the Championship was also announced on Monday, with a curtailed 27-game season due to commence on October 17.

Clark concedes that initial fixtures will be played in front of empty stands but is hopeful that some supporters could be back in the ground by November.

And, depending on Scottish Government guidelines, Clark believes there could soon be as many as 1,500 punters back in their seats at Stark’s Park.

1,500

“When we do start playing in October, it will be behind closed doors – there’s not much doubt about that,” Clark told Raith TV. “We hope we might be in a position in November or December where we can allow a number of spectators into Stark’s Park.

“If the guidelines come down to social distancing of one metre, then it would be possible to get between 1,000 and 1,500 spectators in the stadium.

“We are working towards that and have a sub-committee set up to look at that.”

The club has already begun sourcing antibacterial gel and face masks in the assumption that both will be compulsory in stadiums when fans to begin to gradually return.

 
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