John Robertson backing for Ross County chief

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THERE was never any danger of Roy MacGregor succumbing to pressure from his fellow SPL chairmen over league reconstruction, according to John Robertson.

The former Hearts striker worked under the Ross County chairman when he was manager of the club and is confident MacGregor chose to vote against the majority in the best interests of the club.

“Roy MacGregor would never have been under pressure,” Robertson said yesterday. “No chance. The guy’s in charge of a multi-miilion-pound business in the north of Scotland. Voting on the future of Scottish football would not be any great pressure to him.

“He’s a very principled man and he would do it for what he felt were the right reasons. I don’t think he felt under any pressure. He certainly wouldn’t have been under any pressure from his fans, because the Ross County fans trust him and, if he had voted yes or no without giving a reason all the fans would have said he’s doing it for what’s best for the club.

“He’s done what he feels is the right thing for Ross County. He’s publicly said that there are some really good things that he likes and some things that he doesn’t like.

“And, like most people in Scottish football outside the SPL clubs, he feels there could and should be a compromise. Most of the fans want to find this magic compromise.

“I’ve seen him playing his newbie card a few times and saying that they’re just in and don’t want to get too involved. But you don’t get where Roy MacGregor is in business without being very astute – and very ruthless if required.

“He’s one of the nicest chairmen you could meet, and he makes you very welcome. But, trust me, he’ll do what’s best for Ross County Football Club and for the area. He knows what he’s doing and I guarantee you he’ll have done it for very principled reasons.”

While MacGregor and Stewart Gilmour of St Mirren have been heavily criticised for voting down the SPL board’s package of reforms, Robertson thinks the league has itself to blame for failing to explain its own plans properly.

“We’re all trying to find a solution for Scottish football, and I don’t think Roy MacGregor or Stewart Gilmour have done this to stop anything going forward.

“It is wrong that they’re being vilified. We all want to move Scottish football forward but we want to move it forward in the proper manner – what’s fair and good for everyone.

“I keep hearing Neil Doncaster saying this was a 42-club solution. No chance. Leagues 2 and 3 are gaining absolutely nothing out of it.

“I can’t understand why the SPL chairmen are saying ‘It’s this or nothing’. There are obviously reasons why Neil Doncaster has come out and said that on behalf of his member clubs, but that’s where the general public are stumped.

“Why can’t we have a compromise? I don’t think there has been enough communication telling us why this was the only option as they saw it.”

Robertson now thinks that an external body should be invited to mediate in an attempt to avoid the deadlock which may have resulted from Monday’s vote. “Maybe we should go down to the English Premier League and ask them to come up and sort it out. Show them the plans and ask them what they think. It maybe needs something like that.

“It’s a tough one for everybody, but there has to be another way round it and I think the fans are getting frustrated at this all-or-nothing scenario. Why can’t we just stick a play-off spot in for the next two years and then see how that generates interest?

“They’re saying sponsors are driving this, but I would be very, very surprised if any sponsor was saying it has to be 12-12-18 before they would put their money in.

“All they want is to know what they’re selling – be it a 12-12 or a 10-10 or an 18 or a 26. They’ll not demand it’s a 12-12-18. That’s come from the SPL.”