No compensation to be paid to SPFL clubs over fixture list

Thistle were unhappy with the lack of home games against the Old Firm. Picture: SNS
Thistle were unhappy with the lack of home games against the Old Firm. Picture: SNS
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Partick Thistle have been left disappointed in their quest to be compensated for having only two guaranteed Glasgow derbies at Firhill next season.

Thistle reacted angrily after they were handed only one Ladbrokes Premiership home game against both Celtic and Rangers before the split - along with Motherwell and Hamilton - while Hearts, Inverness and Dundee each have four home matches in total against the well-supported pair.

The Jags initially asked for a change to the fixture list but a meeting with the Scottish Professional Football League has left them empty-handed.

They will now meet other clubs to work out a way to avoid a repeat of the situation, which arose because newly-promoted Rangers had replaced relegated Dundee United in the fixture list.

All other clubs were handed a guaranteed three Old Firm home games before Rangers went into liquidation in 2012 and dropped out of the Scottish Premier League.

A Thistle statement read: “Following a meeting today, the SPFL has confirmed to us that there is to be no compensation paid to clubs disadvantaged by the fixture list 2016/17.

“While clearly disappointed at this outcome, in a wide-ranging discussion, it became apparent to us that the current situation had arisen from a breakdown in communications leading to unintended consequences for us and two other clubs.

“There was agreement that while we, as a club, had not anticipated changes to the fixturing process when compared with historical practice, the SPFL had not considered the impact of making these changes without first informing the clubs affected.

“We still intend to meet with other Premiership clubs to discuss the best way to ensure fairness for all clubs, thus avoiding any financial or sporting disadvantage happening in future seasons. The SPFL has agreed to consider any proposals that we come forward with as a group.”

Thistle expect to have a six-figure hole in their budget as a result of the unexpected fall in revenue.

But they said: “The club wishes to reassure fans that, despite this setback, the board has decided to maintain the increased playing budget for the coming season to support our ambitions for greater success in 2016/17.

“We remain committed to maintaining our debt-free status and, while our focus will be on securing additional revenue to achieve this, cuts will require to be made to non-essential parts of the budget.”

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