David Longmuir, chief executive of the Scottish Football League, has expressed cautious optimism over the future of Dunfermline Athletic.
Longmuir would be not drawn on the punishment the league would dish out to the Fife side as a sporting penalty for going into administration, but his tone suggested it may not be as stringent as first feared.
“We have a process where we ask the club to come in and see us,” Longmuir said. “We say to them: ‘We hear you have breached a football rule, do you agree?’ We listen to their responses to that and then we set in train a process which can last a week, something like that.
“You know the type of footballing sanctions that can be applied. Our rule clearly states we judge the case on its merits. We don’t have a tariff of sanctions that automatically apply as happened with Coventry.”
Pressed on whether there definitely would be a sanction for Dunfermline going into administration, Longmuir said: “That remains to be seen. There is an insolvency event that has been highlighted. That in itself breaches a rule. The sanction remains to be seen. I am not going to prejudice any of my board’s decisions. The rules are clear, though.”
Longmuir met with interim administrator Bryan Jackson last week, and suggested a broader ownership model would have been to Dunfermline’s benefit.
He said: “Dunfermline’s debt has been a build-up of issues over many years. It is a business model that is challenging when things go wrong. It is about getting the balance right in terms of how you manage a club.”