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Fighting Words in Scotland Among Shareholders

We went to a fight and a meeting of Scottish footballing executives broke out. Such is the tenor of dialogue in the higher offices of the game, this week, as clubs are fighting with the SFA and/or SPFL in Scotland, and club shareholders argue amongst themselves.

Soccer supporters nyc

The Full Scottish by Brian P. Dunleavy

To wit, the latest controversy surrounding Rangers. The club’s hierarchy, whose dispute with the Premiership over title sponsors cinch rages on in the background, are reportedly angry with the SPFL for not postponing their fixture against Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday in advance of the second leg of the Ibrox side’s Champions League playoff against PSV Eindhoven.

It seems—perhaps understandably, given the potential financial windfall at stake—that ’Gers were expecting the same treatment PSV received from their domestic league, the Eredivisie, which moved their match against Volendam, originally scheduled for Saturday, to Wednesday, August 31, in order to give Ruud van Nistelrooy’s players time to rest.

To be fair, Rangers have a point. Having two clubs in the group stages—Celtic have already qualified—would provide the SPFL with a significant cash infusion as well as a much-needed boost in prestige.

Instead, they face what has recently proved a challenging test against Hibs, away, ahead of… wait for it… a challenging test away to PSV, with the tie poised at 2-2. So far, the club and manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst have remained silent regarding the scenario. That could change, though, depending on the result on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, across Glasgow, internal strife is reportedly building at Partick Thistle, a club that has struggled mightily on the pitch in recent seasons. Three Black Cats (3BC), which holds a 55 percent stake in the club, has announced that it plans to gift the shares to the PTFC Trust, a group that already holds a 19 percent stake in the Firhill side.

However, yet another supporter group, The Jags Foundation, has expressed concerns over PTFC Trust’s governance, among other issues. In a statement earlier this week, as reported by the Herald, PTFC Trust said that it has undergone “drastic” changes to address these issues.

There has been no talk of supporter boycotts, or other actions—yet. And manager Ian McCall has said he doesn’t expect the squabbles to affect the players on the pitch. We’ll see.


Finally, in some positive boardroom news, Dundee announced plans this week to launch Dundee FC Women, a senior side that will ultimately compete in the SWPL. As reported by the Courier, as part of an effort to “strive for social inclusion,” the Dark Blues have already initiated a recreation program for women and girls at their Gardyne Campus and hope to have an academy structure in place within two years.

Said Dundee chief executive Greg Fenton: “For [women and girls] aspiring to be professional football players, it is important they have a clear pathway to progress.”

We agree. The news from Dundee highlights the continued, and long overdue, growth of the women’s game in Scotland, and we hope there’s more to come.

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Photo: The Jags Foundation

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