Raith chairman admits club could have to pull out of legal battle

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Raith Rovers chairman Bill Clark admits the club will decide in the next 48 hours whether they can continue their legal battle after conceding that spiralling costs could force the Stark’s Park outfit out of business.

Championship winners Dundee United yesterday appealed to fellow clubs and fans to help them continue their fight.

Hearts and Partick Thistle’s bid to avoid relegation and deny United, Raith and Cove Rangers promotion has been referred to a Scottish FA arbitration tribunal by the Court of Session.

Clark, pictured, has been named chairman of his boyhood club (Pic: Raith Rovers FC)

To date, the three clubs have already had to pay out a combined £50,000 and they fear that figure will rise to £150,000 

Clark admits losing the case and being told to pay Hearts and Partick’s legal fees would spell disaster for the League One champions.

He said: “It is a dilemma. We’re going to take another couple of days to decide whether we can continue or not. It’s all down to the cost. 

“It has cost around £50,000 so far and it’s likely to be over £150,000 by the time we’re finished with the tribunal.

“And if we get Hearts and Partick Thistle’s costs awarded against us well, that’s something else we have to take into account and I don’t think any club can afford to take that chance. It would force us out of business. 

“We’re weighing up the risks involved in doing that and letting the SPFL defend their case and see whatever happens. 

“We’ll have to take the consequences, which could well be remaining in League One, which we would not be happy with at all.

“The other two teams are on the same page as well.

“Dundee Untied are the ones with most to lose but even they’re not confident they would have the money to continue if the two others pulled out.”

Clark admits Rovers are not keen to go cap in hand to their fans for more financial support, with the Raith faithful having already gifted over £100,000 to the club since the coronavirus crisis struck

He added: “We would be reluctant to do it because our supporters have been so good. 

“So it’s a joint crowdfunding exercise between the three clubs, we’ll see what happens with that.”

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