Collumbine believes County’s MacGregor will stay strong

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EAST Fife chairman Sid Collumbine has hit out at the “bullying” of Ross County counterpart Roy MacGregor during the reconstruction debate, but backs the Dingwall chief to remain resolute.

The Victoria Park outfit hold the fate of the 12-12-18 proposal in their hands after St Mirren’s chairman Stewart Gilmour declared that the Buddies would be voting against the scheme.

In the 11-1 voting system in the SPL another “no” vote by MacGregor, who has concerns regarding the proposed mid-season split’s effect on season ticket sales, would veto the reconstruction plans.

Supporters of the scheme are canvassing hard, with Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson stating: “I feel strongly that Monday’s meeting presents all of us with an opportunity for change that is simply too good to miss.”

Thompson’s counterpart at Hamilton, Les Gray, said: “I know Roy MacGregor pretty well – I’ve known him for 15 years – and he won’t want to be the man that stops progress for Scottish football.”

Collumbine believes MacGregor will come under even more pressure to join the “yes” camp in the coming days and said: “It is bullying, there is no question about that. But they [Gilmour and MacGregor] are both honourable people and strong people and I would expect them to stick to their guns and listen to their supporters.

“I think reconstruction will be off the table by the time the SPL meeting ends on Monday. I am all for coming together, but not for rushing something through for the start of next season when there are so many questions to be answered. You can’t move the goalposts at this stage. It is entirely unfair.”

Collumbine remains steadfast in his insistence that East Fife will not vote for the proposals. Having seen the finer details of reconstruction, he is adamant the clubs in Division Two and Three will be cut adrift by the scheme and is not surprised that, at the last SFL meeting, there was a 14-14 split among the member clubs.

“I keep hearing people say: ‘This is not about ourselves, it is about looking after Scottish football’,” continued Collumbine. “I beg to differ.

“A lot of clubs in the First Division were against reconstruction until they saw the zeroes on the page. Just like the SPL, the clubs are all broke and living above their means. Reconstruction might save one or two clubs up there, but they will discard the Second and Third division and that is a major flaw. Make no mistake, they are looking after themselves and this is a takeover rather than a merger.”