Chairman insists his club willing to take the lead on reform at top of Scottish game

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Falkirk chairman Gary Deans has launched another withering attack on the Scottish football authorities and insists the Bairns are ready to take the lead in overseeing urgent reform.

The League One leaders again feel that they have unfairly treated after the Scottish FA ruled on Monday that all divisions below the Championship were to be suspended for three weeks due to rising Covid-19 levels.

Deans had still been getting his head around the way the £30 million government handout was allocated to all 42 teams.

Falkirk stadium | Falkirk news
Falkirk furious with the latest decision from the game’s power brokers

Falkirk and Partick Thistle, the only two full-time teams in League One, were each handed £150,000, while all ten Championship clubs received £500,000.

Falkirk were also aggrieved by how last season ended after they were denied the chance to return to the second tier when the SPFL brought the leagues to a premature and controversial end.

Deans’ anger has only been compounded by the latest decision that has left Falkirk facing no football until at least the end of the month.

In a 600 word statement, Deans said: “The unfairness, inconsistency, and double standards on display is there for everyone to see.

“Many of you will feel you have heard this record before, but the continued inability of our sport’s most senior decision makers to take decisions that seek to safeguard the future of all of Scotland’s clubs continues to baffle but not surprise.  

“We have called for change and we are ready to play a leading role in the much-needed reform that our national game requires.  Change is required and urgently.

“Our staff have worked incredibly hard to ensure we comply with the varied and numerous pandemic directives and protocols from Scottish Government, the SFA and the SPFL.  

“Quite frankly, our staff and supporters deserve greater respect from Scottish football’s decision makers who threaten their livelihoods and our club with decisions which we believe are ill-thought through and poorly communicated.

“The health crisis results in everyone – us included – having to make difficult decisions and that includes those in charge of our game, but some decisions, such as those to stop us playing and training while allowing other part-time clubs to continue are baffling.”

Deans admits Wednesday’s scheduled meeting involving all 42 SPFL clubs failed to shed any clarity over how the decision to suspend football outside the top two leagues was reached.

He added: “Unfortunately that meeting did not provide any clearer understanding of the justification for the decision.

“This decision came with no prior consultation with our club and we have been forced to rapidly assess the impact that the suspension of fixtures and training will have on all our staff here at Falkirk.”

Celtic

Deans has also hinted that the Covid-19 controversy affecting Celtic on the back of their trip to Dubai brought unnecessary attention to the game.

He added: “We all recognise the wide-ranging and serious impact that the pandemic has had on every aspect of society and of course we commend and support the efforts of the Scottish Government to safeguard life and to protect the NHS.  

“Football has been granted unique concessions which reflect its importance to our national consciousness and we are all aware of recent failures which have brought these concessions into focus.

“Unfortunately, only some clubs (namely those in League One and Two and those outside the SPFL) have been made to carry the can for those failings, whilst those in the upper reaches of the league pyramid have been allowed to continue on top of having been rewarded disproportionately with Scottish Government funding.”