DUNFERMLINE chairman John Yorkston said he is resigned to his club playing in the First Division this coming season, but
he has not yet ruled out the possibility of a legal challenge against the Scottish Premier League’s decision to promote Dundee.
Yorkston is frustrated that the SPL has not told his club its reasons for inviting last season’s First Division runners-up to replace Rangers rather than reinstating relegated Dunfermline.
But he will not seek to reverse the decision or take any action that holds up the league season, with the SPL due to kick off on 4 August.
“We are now resigned to playing in the SFL,” said Yorkston. “Any challenge that we do would be against the decision for us not to play in the SPL now. We’re not going to be the club that holds everybody up by appealing and delaying the start of the leagues.”
SPL chief executive Neil
Doncaster said on Monday that Dundee were chosen on “sporting merit”.
However, Yorkston said: “We contacted the SPL to ask what the sporting merit was that they decided upon to put Dundee into the Premier League. We’re still waiting on a response. I find it very strange. Probably, they don’t have an answer to give us.
“We were originally told we would be told in two weeks which is once the competitive games have started. You’re now telling us we’re not going to get an answer. Obviously it makes it very difficult when we’re working out what we’re going to do.
“[They may feel] that if you don’t know the reason you can’t appeal against that reason. But we have to speak to our legal folk and see what they make of this latest development. We’ve been kept out of the SPL and we haven’t been told why.”
As the dust starts to settle on the SPL’s decision, Dundee chief executive Scot Gardiner posted a statement on the club’s website yesterday hailing the club’s promotion. “It was great news for the club, great news for the
players and most importantly great news for the fans,” he said. “They’ve had seven years of backing their team through thick and thin in the First Division – some pretty thin times and some pretty hairy experiences – one of the first things we all thought about here was this is amazing for the fans, that’s absolutely genuine – it’s what they deserve.”
Despite the obvious positives of being promoted to the SPL, Gardiner revealed how pre-season plans were interrupted by the uncertainty surrounding the club. He said: “The football side of it was basically brought to a halt, we’d gone out and signed the targets that we had identified but still had three or four we were hoping to bring in, but when it became apparent that the Rangers thing was unfolding as it was, we stopped everything dead.”
Even on hearing the news that the club would be playing top-flight football for the first time since 2005, Gardiner was still aware of the potential ramifications of the lost time.
“For a start, the SPL season starts a week earlier than the SFL, SPL sides started pre-season around ten days ahead of our players, everything that we had planned for pre-season, our schedule was for us to peak on 11 August and now it’s going to be a week before that,” he said. Meanwhile, Nottingham-based businessman Craig Mather has confirmed his investment in the Rangers newco. Charles Green, chief executive of the Ibrox club, revealed yesterday that Mather has invested more than £1 million for a share of about 10 per cent.
Mather, who is the managing director of Simply Sport Management and runs a manufacturing business, hopes his contacts can help the club move forward. A statement from Mather on the Rangers website read: “I am delighted to have invested in The Rangers Football Club with my business partner Guy Gisborne. In addition to the financial investment, Simply Sport Management specialises in youth players. I am confident that my colleagues and contacts within this field will prove invaluable.
“I look forward to being part of the team rebuilding this